Commercial Drive is one of Vancouver’s best neighbourhoods for restaurants but I’ll wager you haven’t heard of this hidden gem. B House is Hung Nguyen’s first restaurant after the Vietnamese born chef worked his way through the kitchens of Vancouver restaurants like Milestones, The Boathouse, and Rogue Kitchen.
Fresh, Flavourful, Fusion
Chef Nguyen decided it was time to open his own restaurant. He and his wife, Vy, opened B House in 2020. B House is located on Commercial Drive just north of Broadway, and just south of Chancho. The menu is fresh, flavourful, and yes, could be described as fusion. It is inspired by Chef Nguyen’s Vietnamese childhood but also the Pacific Northwest restaurant chains where he gained his culinary experience. At B House, he is serving brunch as well as share plates, snacks, and dinner items. You can order Loaded Fries with Cajun seasoning and nacho cheese, as well as a Green Papaya Salad which contains kale.
B House Brunch
The brunch menu at B House is equally expressive of Chef Nguyen’s past and present with items like the Bangkok Benny with sweet chili lemongrass chicken, sliced cucumber, and wakame seaweed. More West Coast inspired brunch dishes include the classic Avocado Toast with black chia seeds, poached eggs, and a drizzle of house hot sauce, or the Blackened Steelhead Hash with spinach, poached eggs, tomatoes, and pea shoots.
Cocktails and Crispy Prawns
On my recent visit, I got to try some items from B House’s dinner menu. First, though, there were cocktails to taste. The lemongrass sour in the Cadillac Margarita shows how Asian flavours have been fused with North American even on the cocktail menu. The Lychee Raspberry Cosmo likewise fuses the Asian roots of B House with Chef Nguyen’s Canadian culinary experience.
Chef Nguyen celebrates having his own kitchen by playing with seasonal ingredients and flavours. His Feature Menu is always changing. It was the very end of spot prawn season when I visited, so the Feature Menu included a Spot Prawn Fresh Salad Roll which came with crispy Bang Bang style spot prawns wrapped in brown rice paper with asparagus and carrot. The dish also had fried lotus root, as well as some fantastic sauces. The peanut butter sauce was my favourite but the harissa aioli and the pineapple salsa were equally as delicious. The prawns were fried to such perfection that you could easily eat the crispy heads as well.
Chicken Versus Fish
Another twist on a North American classic is B House’s East Side Chicken Cobb Salad. This version of a Cobb comes with lemongrass chicken, edamame, sesame seeds, and rice chips. It is arguable whether B House is doing chicken or fish better. They are known for their Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup (otherwise known as phö gà) which comes with not only an entire crispy chicken leg but also a generous piece of chicken chicharron.
As much as I did enjoy the Chicken Soup, as satisfying as it is to take a bite out of a giant piece of well seasoned, deep-fried chicken skin, I enjoyed the Ahi Tuna and the Pumpkin Crusted Mahi Mahi the most. Both dishes felt light enough to suit the summer even if the Mahi Mahi was finished with a compound mustard butter. The theme of fusion can be seen on the plate which has both balsamic glaze and edamame puree. The Ahi Tuna is the perfect dish to enjoy on B House’s covered patio. The yellowfin tuna is lightly seared and crusted with sesame, and it comes elegantly draped over a bed of rice pilaf and miso-glazed seasonal vegetables which in my case were asparagus. The dish is topped with green onion and tobiko which is perhaps also why I found it to be so refreshing and bright.
B House has a fairly large menu, especially when you include their brunch options, and even the dinner menu had other tempting items like Little Saigon Club sandwich with beer braised pork belly or the Steak Frites with prawn and mushroom Thermidor sauce. They also have Korean fried chicken.
B House also serves two “B” Sweet dessert items. Now, to be honest, I was too full to sample either, and for that, you’ll have to forgive me. Both the Molten Chocolate Brownie and the Raisin Mascarpone Bread Pudding sound delectable but let’s just say that I didn’t want to spoil the surprise ending of your meal at B House for you. You’ll have to visit to discover for yourself the end of the story. B House is open every day and serves Brunch until 3 pm.