Vi La Palace Vietnamese Restaurant
Location: Mt. Lehman road, Abbotsford, BC
Ahh, the Vi La Palace. At first glance, it seems to be a small, barely decorated family restaurant with booths and tables, nothing super special, but an excellent casual place. Walking through the doors your are immediately greeted by the staff, if it is not super busy, you are able to choose where to sit. Sometimes it can be a bit chilly since the door opens up to the main eating area. The kitchen is visible in the back, behind a small bar. A large fish tank provides some entertainment with a few fishies swimming around, something I always like in a restaurant – something to stare at when conversation is scarce. The television plays a round of photographs that are from all over the world, kind of pointless but mildly entertaining (for there are some random photos.)
The setting is mainly fit for 2-4 individuals, but my family of six has eaten here many times and they are always willing to rearrange!
Prices are amazingly low. Understandably, maybe, since this place is sort of starting up. My meal, alone, usually costs somewhere between 14-18$, including drink, appetizer, and entree.
Since I am a bit of a regular there, aka I have been there maybe 10+ times in the past half year, when the regular waitress (the daughter of the owner) is there, she comes with my water and states she already has my salad rolls on their way! She knows me too well.
Salad Rolls: If you have never tried these before, Vi La is the PERFECT place to start. Rice paper-wrapped vermicelli noodles with basil, carrots, cilantro, meat (in this case either pork and shrimp, or shrimp and imitation crab) and peanut sauce to dip! Cover those bad boys up with some Hoision sauce and Thai Chili sauce and you’ve got the easiest way to eat a salad. Delicious.
Other advisable tastes to try are ‘The Famous Spicy Vietnamese Hue Soup’ or the ‘Grilled Pork on Vermicelli Noodles.’ The plates are HUGE. My brother, who usually eats like a Beast, can never finish his meal. These meals are the perfect ‘take home’ meals, I even believe anything on Vermicelli noodles tastes better the next day, but that’s me, personally.
For me, food has almost always come in a timely manner. I had one experience, with a different waitress than normal, who seemed to forget about my meal. That was a little disappointing, but it was only the one time in many.
With the new mall coming to Mt. Lehman, I can surely see this place booming in later times. Popularity always is up and down, some nights I come and it’s packed, others it’s empty. I’ve never been for lunch, but I can see how this place is more of a “noon meal.”
There are not many extremely amazing places in Abbotsford, but Vi La Palace is a hidden treasure, for sure.
Tip: Sit close to the back on cold evenings. It gets quite chilly in the restaurant, so wear an extra layer for indoors.