By Connie Meyer
Vietnam Garden is such a treasured, hidden-gem of a restaurant in Virginia Beach, I almost hesitated to write and tell the world about it. A knowledgeable foodie friend of mine, Lisa Richmon, co-owner of Roast Rider Coffee and Tea at Hilltop, clued me in about 15 years ago, and it never disappoints! It’s the kind of family-owned, cozy restaurant that lives in an unassuming shopping center off Virginia Beach Boulevard just west of TJ Maxx. You’d likely never find it, or even venture in, if someone didn’t let you know about it.
Vietnam Garden teases the most flavor out of the freshest food imaginable. The menu is authentic and traditional but the dish explanations are in English and the friendly staff is always there to help.
Here are some of our family’s favorites:
Most cultures have a version of a nurturing healing soup. Pho (pronounced “fuh”) is a backbone of Vietnamese cuisine. Their delicious rice noodle soup comes in a variety of choices- with assorted beef, sliced eye of the round, vegetarian, vegetarian with textured tofu, seafood (our favorite), and with meatballs. These steaming bowls are the perfect answer to combat a frigid winter day or nagging cold.
Many of the dishes are diet friendly. The Goi Cuon soft rice paper garden rolls with shrimp, pork, aromatic herbs and peanut sweet potato dipping sauce are fresh and addictive. One of my favorites, Bahn Hoi Thil Nuong Cha Gio, is an overflowing plate with perfectly grilled pork, crispy taro root Vietnamese egg roll, rice angel hair, fresh herbs, lettuce, peanuts, and cilantro Vietnamese dressing ready to be rolled into rice paper wrappers.
The Bahn Xeo is an enormous Vietnamese crepe filled with shrimp, pork and bean sprouts and is completely filling for under $10 and is found in the appetizer portion of the menu.
Vietnam Garden’s Hoanh-Thanh is their special wonton soup with the most delicate delectable wontons I’ve eaten. Many grilled meats are offered over fresh Vietnamese salad and
accompanied by fresh herbs, peanuts, and light Vietnamese dressing.
My husband’s favorites are selected from the Mon Dac Biet, chef’s specialties. He loves the Stir Fry Soft Noodles served with plentiful chicken, beef or pork. These dishes come with a salad.
The prices are extremely reasonable and range from $2.00 – $16.00. Vietnam Garden also offers a full bar. They are open for dining-in or take-out – Monday thru Saturday for Lunch and
Treat yourself and your family to an amazing meal soon! I only hope there will be a free table available for my family.
Vietnam Garden –
London Bridge Shoppes – 2404 Virginia Beach Blvd.
#114, Virginia Beach, VA 23454. 757-631-8048