About us

Home > About us

Introduction – Who we are

Vina Vietnamese Restaurant, a diverse native Vietnamese cookery with characteristic French savoir-faire – a fusing of woks and flames, Vina (meaning Vietnam) has been serving superb fine dining experiences for Vancouverites for more than two decades.

The first North Shore outlet at 2508 Marine Drive, West Vancouver, British Columbia was established in the winter of 1980.  Vina has since been adopted wholeheartedly by area residents and has expanded to four lower mainland Vina locations, which have been successful due to the quality and reasonable prices of the authentic food.

A Brief History of Vina Vietnamese Cuisine

Executive Chef/Owner John Hui and his Wife Frances Hui started the family business 24 years ago when they opened The Saigon Restaurant on West Broadway in Vancouver.  The surroundings are pleasant and the restaurant‘s two small levels were filled with lunch trade even thought the place was just a month old.
 
In November 1980, the couple opened their first North Shore outlet and officially registered it  as Vina Vietnamese Restaurant.

In response to requests by West Enders, Vina’s second restaurant was opened in January 1981.  During these years, Vina was invited to participate in numerous fast food catering events in Vancouver Summer Festivities Food Fairs such as: Children Festival, Jazz Festival, Sea Festival, Folk Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, Viva – Test of Vancouver, Molson Indy, and Pacific National Exhibition (P.N.E.).  Vina won many first price awards for being the best in presentation, organization, food preparation and services.  From these successful experiences, Chef John Hui brought Vina to the Fast Food market sector by opening two fast food outlets: Vina Vietnamese Gourmet in Pacific Shopping Mall (August 1988) and Vina Vietnamese Gourmet in Coquitlam Center Shopping Mall (December 2002).  In the summer of 2001, by popular demand, Vina came back to West Broadway to open its fourth restaurant which has been very popular with the downtown lunch crowd.

Description of the Vina Vietnamese Restaurants

The restaurants serves authentic Vietnamese cuisine consisting of a variety of dishes such as seafood, beef, lamb, duck, pork, poultry, and vegetarian delights.  For the past 2 decades, Food Critics have been very supportive in complimentary of the restaurants, and who better can describe the restaurant than the critics.

  • Miss Ami Peleg, President - Consumers’ Choice Award – August 23, 2001

 Mr. Timothy Renshaw, Food Critic – The North Shore News – February 28, 2001

  • Miss Robin Mines, Food Critic -  Westender – August 24-30, 2000

 Miss  Jamie Maw, Food Editor – Vancouver Magazine – December 02, 1999

  • Reviewed by The Mystery Gourmet – The Province – June 21, 1998

 Outreach Society – The North Shore News – April 14th, 1993

  • Mr. Timothy Renshaw, Food Critic – The North Shore News – November 8, 1985

 Mr. Chuck Davis, Food Critic – The Province – October 23, 1978

For example, Mr. Timothy Renshaw of the North Shore News on February 28, 2001 made the following comments:

Here you get an authentic Vietnamese dining experience.  A bowl of Hot and Sour Chicken Soup, for example – Can Chua Ga to the Vina veteran.  Broth enlivened with chili peppers and tamarind juice thick with crisp bean sprouts and celery, fresh tomato quarters and chopped green onions.  Amidst it all: healthy slices of sweet moist chicken breast.  Not too hot, not too sour.  You could stop there if you liked, but Vina’s diverse menu beckons. 


Try a Vietnamese Crepe.  It recalls a crisp western omelette, but this one’s made with rice flour.  Vina stuffs it with bean sprouts, shrimp and mushrooms and then serves it with a salad of pickled vegetables.  Fine company for a plate of Vietnamese curry (prawn, fish, chicken, beef, lamb and vegetarian options available) some Spicy Prawns Basil or a Vina Brochette.


Table Hopping had it with the lamb version of the latter and the Duck Anisette.
Vina preps its brochettes with pepper, sugar and salt.  You get three skewers and a side of rice vermicelli and some dipping sauces that combine peanuts and smoky red chili peppers.


The duck is marinated in anisette and a touch of five spice.  You get a full half of the bird and au jus in a dipping bowl.  Rice and salad accompany.  Vietnamese cookery takes as much from its French colonial past as it does from its vast Chinese neighbor.  If it’s done right, you get French finesse along with Chinese diversity.


Seafood fans and vegetarians will find much to choose from at Vina.”

In addition to these entrees, Vina serves as with great Franco Vietnamese traditions, Ice Coffee made with sweetened condensed milk or Vina Deep Fried Banana with ice cream flambé with Grandmanier are popular choices to finish a meal.

Chef's preparation

In addition to preparing the authentic cuisine described above, John and Frances frequently visit Vietnam to seek out “cutting edge” recipes to enhance their menu with new dishes.

Services ? la Vina

Besides fine dining, Vina strongly emphasizes its service and practiced two rules:

Rule No.1:  Vina’s customers are always right.
Rule No.2:  If  a Vina’s customer is wrong, look at Rule No.1

Staff at Vina are eager to please guests and always ask that you make your server aware of any food allergies or special requests.

Based on these rules and personalized service, Vina has received numerous customers’ compliments:

  • Reviewed by The Mystery Gourmet – The Province – June 21, 1998

This is a bright, cheerful establishment with exceptional courteous staff.”

  • Mr. Roger Lee – New Westminster – May 10, 2001

Warm and friendly staff as though we have known each other for a long time.”

  • Mr. Timothy Renshaw – The North Shore news – Feb 28, 2001

Serving staff sport matching white shirt.  Their tableside manner emphasizes service and product knowledge, not just efficiency.”

Vina Fine Dining Atmosphere

The Atmosphere at Vina is best described by the food critics.

  • Mr. Timothy Renshaw - North Shore News – February 28, 2001 (Vina – Dundarave)

PLAY it again, Vic.
Tickle those ivories as you do Thursday through Saturday amidst the jade tones and ornate ceramics of Vina, while Table Hopping measures the roots of this West Vancouver outpost of Southeast Asian cuisine.  They’re deep, all right.  Twenty years deep.  Nothing to sneeze at, Vic old chap.  Nothing to sneeze at all.

Your Vina place of employment has survived in a business that claims countless competitors every year on the North Shore and elsewhere around the Lower Mainland.  So a little something celebratory from that baby grand and the rhythm machine would be in order.  The rest of the room will get down to the business at hand: savouring Vina’s admirable rendition of Vietnamese dining.  At this familiar Dundarave venue with the bold green awning and the outdoor terrace crowded with ceramic dogs, pots and other examples of the Oriental potter’s art, that rendition is presented I a spacious 110-seat dining room finished in ebony, green and white trim. Serving staff sport matching white shirt.  Their tableside manner emphasizes service and product knowledge, not just efficiency.  Reasons for the depth of aforementioned roots are becoming apparent.  More to the point: the kitchen treats the restaurant’s patrons to a Vietnamese feast that’s well above average.”

  • Reviewed by The Mystery Gourmet – The Province – June 21, 1998

Happily, the first thing I noticed at Vina was that my critical comments about oriental restaurants and their fast food table setting don’t apply.  The tables are beautifully set, even at lunchtime, with fresh linen tablecloths and napkins.  This is a bright cheerful establishment with exceptionally courteous staff.”

All Vina fine dining outlets are fully licensed bar with a large selection of wines and beers.  We believe that you could have a memorable experience by part-taking in the authentic Vietnamese cuisine served by our restaurant as supported by food critics and an enjoyable and charming atmosphere with superior services!

VINA HOME PAGE

Vina Vietnamese Restaurant, a diverse native Vietnamese cookery with characteristic French savoir-faire – a fusing of woks and flames, Vina (stands short for Vietnam) has been serving superb fine dining experience for The Vancouverites for more than two decades.

Vina consists of the following divisions to serve you:

  • Fine Dining with 3 convenient locations closest to you.
  • Gourmet Fast Food Services with 2 convenient locations to accompany your shopping needs.
  • Catering Services to all occasions from 50 – 500 people.
  • Wholesales to all retailers and/or special purchasing Vietnamese food products.