Monday, 15 July 2013

Foo Asian Street Food - thousands of people (& a TV show) can't be wrong

Victoria's Foo, at the corner of Blanshard Street and Yates Street, is housed in a small building, once just used for storage, then a liquor store and finally, now, to some fabulous asian-inspired street food. You can take your food away, saddle up to the stools inside, or (if the weather is nice) pull up a seat on the patio.

Foo Asian Street Food at Yates & Blanshard

All the food offerings are listed on large blackboards, above the counter that overlooks the kitchen. The two larger ones show the regular menu and the smaller one above the register shows the day's specials.

There are about a dozen dishes on the regular menu to tempt you - including green papaya salad, pork & pineapple fried rice, pad thai, butter chicken, caramel chicken and octopus salad. There are usually 3-4 specials of the day - some recent offerings have been pork curry, ramen soup, bahn mi, watermelon & feta salad, rare beef salad and hot & sour soup. Want some inspiration for lunch? The specials are tweeted and posted on their website and Facebook daily.

On the most recent visits we noshed on the octopus salad, caramel chicken, butter chicken, ramen soup special and pork curry special. For the salad: the octopus is pan-fried with a sweet chilli glaze, then set on crisp lettuce & bean sprouts and sprinkled with a mix of herbs and dressed with a chilli-lime vinaigrette. The octopus is perfectly prepared - al dente but not chewy - it tastes great with the sweet chilli and crunchy lettuce.

Octopus salad

The caramel chicken is equally as delicious. Boneless pieces of chilli & caramel glazed chicken, tossed with a bit of chinese cabbage and a scoop of rice. The chicken pieces are large and moist with a nice amount of crispiness (no worries here of soggy, puffy batter or teeth-cracking coating).

Caramel chicken and rice

The butter chicken was also wonderful - tender pieces of boneless chicken thigh in a smooth cilantro and masala cream sauce. It's served with a scoop of rice and a triangle of fried bread (aka crack-bread...what is it about fried dough? I don't know, but I'm happy that every country has their form of it to taste & enjoy).

Butter chicken with rice & fried bread

The ramen special of the day included pulled pork, a soft boiled egg, greens and bean sprouts, sitting on chow mein noodles in a lovely broth. A friend of mine says I have an affinity/obsession with eggs...and she would be right. For me, the egg made this dish - boo-yeah.

Ramen special, pulled pork & soft boiled egg

And finally, the pork curry special: a bowl of ground pork in a mild curry sauce, topped with chopped, roasted peanuts and chopped mint and cilantro - served with a scoop of rice. This dish was fabulous - a really flavourful curry sauce - but the mint really put it over the top.

Pork curry special, topped with cilantro, mint & roasted nuts

If you order with your eyes and not your stomach in mind - they helpfully have take-out containers easily accessible to take your eventual snack/lunch home in. And to wet your whistle - a couple of Phillips beers on tap and some well chosen non-alcoholic options.

Foo was recently features on the popular TV show "You Gotta Eat Here" and was lucky enough to be a part of the audience and utter the magic phrase. And I really did mean it - you really do have to eat here.

Foo Food
769 Yates Street (at Blanshard)
Open from 11:30 everyday (Mon-Sat until 10pm, Sun until 9pm)
Facebook: Foo Asian Street Food
Twitter: @FOOasFOOD

Foo Asian Street Food on Urbanspoon

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