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Vegetarian Food that Doesn’t Suck: Chau VeggieExpress

My vegetarian sister has been going to Chau VeggieExpress for a few years now, but I didn’t have any interest in going until I heard that they started carrying craft beer :)

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Chau is on Victoria Dr., beside where Calabria Bakery used to be, and right beside their sister business, Satori Factory. Also, Amay’s House is just a few doors to the right!

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This may very well be the cleanest, most comfortable place to hang out on this stretch of Victoria Dr.

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Their hours.

Soundtrack time! They were playing a pretty cool mix of hip hop and other stuff like Rhye and How to Dress Well:

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Wow, this place has got to be the cleanest and most tastefully stylish Vietnamese restaurant in Vancouver!

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Self-serve cutlery station. All-you-can-abuse sriracha.

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I’m all about “BRING ON THE GLUTEN”, but it’s nice to see these options for other people.

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We settled on #16 Diving for Pearls. Lychee and date broth??! Gotta try that…

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Gotta have a little bit of naughty stuff too!

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We also chose #17 Golden Temple curry with the “wild rice blend”.

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In case you were wondering where they got the wacky names from.

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Drink list. IMHO unnecessary to have two lagers on that list. I would ditch the Red Truck and just carry all Parallel 49 beers (Hoparazzi lager, Gypsy Tears, and either Lord of the Hops or a seasonal like Seedspitter Watermelon Wit).

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It’s counter service here, so you order and pay at the counter and they give you a sign. We got “garlic”.

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There’s a doorway between Chau and Satori Factory, so we checked out what they had. They’re a cafe with drinks and baked goods but they also sell the Chau products.

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Hmmm, these would make great gifts for the vegetarians in your life.

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Interesting Asian-influenced pastries.

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Being vegan doesn’t mean you can’t have fun!

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Hoisin in a brownie??! I’ll try it next time…

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Parallel 49’s Gypsy Tears Ruby Ale. Upfront caramelly malt with a bit of a hop edge to keep it interesting. It’s probably my favourite Parallel 49 beer out of their regular lineup.

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Amazing taro chips!

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Thinnest taro chips I’ve ever had. Very crispy and not greasy at all! So good with my beer. And that tofu dip rocked. I didn’t even realize it was tofu at first. It reminds me of tangy nacho cheese dip. I don’t feel like I’m missing anything with this dish. It’s all a net positive gain! :P

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Golden Temple curry with wild rice blend. The curry tasted good but very different from a meat-based curry. This one was very coconutty with a lighter body than other curries.

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Love the addition of crispy fried tofu sheet bits. And I don’t care what anybody says, kale is awesome. I love my meat but I also have a thing for kale, heirloom tomatoes and those fancy little potatoes you see at farmer’s markets :)

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The wild rice blend is mostly white rice with brown and wild rice mixed in.

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Diving for Pearls soup noodle. The broth was amazing! Full of depth and flavour. I dunno how they were able to coax so much flavour out of vegetarian ingredients. This was a full, rich yet light broth that didn’t make me feel like I was missing meat.

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Again, love the crispy fried tofu sheet bits. Adds a critical texture element to the dish. I also saw a few longans in there…I think they substituted longans for lychees. My guess is that they couldn’t source fresh lychees to make the broth so they used longans instead.

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Non La spring rolls. So good.

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According to the menu, the inside is a mixture of tofu, sesame, mung bean, taro, kale and other vegetables. I think the wrapping is the proper rice paper but I’ve never seen rice paper fried to that state before. It tasted wonderful.

We had our doubts but came away very impressed!

CHAU VeggiExpress on Urbanspoon

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