We love a restaurant that not only offers some plant-based dishes but also makes them evident on their menus. Some places clearly don't care enough (and I understand that the vegan client base is not huge as far as their bottom line is concerned) or don't understand what vegan means (the line between vegan and vegetarian seems unnecessarily blurred at times ). If only for the sake of the future of the planet, it would be good to see every eatery at least make some small effort. It doesn't have to be every dish on the menu. Chilli Bar has enough plant-based offerings that we weren't able to sample them all on our first visit!
Chillibar - Vegan Options
Located in south Langley at 192nd and 28th, Chilli Bar caters mainly to the workforce in this industrial area during the week. They have a lunch buffet (good for you omnivores) and do a lot of take-out but they are also open on Saturday from 4 to 8 when we managed to give them a try. It is cafeteria-style (order at the counter and pick up your food when it's ready).
We started with the Mini Veggie Spring Rolls which were crispy and filled with julienned vegetables. They came with soy sauce and Wings plum sauce in little packets that made me harken back to my childhood early Cantonese food experiences. These were clearly straight out of the wok and pretty tasty!
They serve a few Szechuan-style dishes as well and the menu labels spicy dishes as well as vegan dishes (thankfully the gluten-free diet craze is ignored whether intentionally or not). The Kung Pao Vege Chop Suey was labelled as spicy but was not. It may be that the kitchen took into account my exceptionally pale skin and assumed that we would not want it spicy. The dish was nevertheless very good and we got our veggies for the day!
More perfectly wok-seared veggies were a part of the Tofu and Broccoli with Black Bean Sauce. Again, not spicy enough but a rich dish that we very much enjoyed.
Another throwback to my youth, the Vegetable Chow Mein was great. Is all about the noodles with this and they had just enough chew and a few veggies and it rounded out our meal. In reality, this was a dinner for 4 easily as we took a good half of everything home.
Prices seem pretty reasonable considering the portion sizes and the dining area itself was comfortable enough. We talked a bit with the owner who started this business in 2019 (not great timing) but seems to be doing OK. This is not a deeply exotic menu but finding vegan comfort food that is not too far away is a win for us and we look forward to trying a few other menu items.
Food 4 out of 5
Vegan options 4 out of 5
Comfort 3 1/2 out of 5
Service 4 out of 5
Value 4 out of 5
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