By Kathy Chouteau
The scene? A business lunch on a Friday afternoon. The setting? A glorious fall day on Anh Vietnamese Kitchen’s outdoor patio overlooking the Richmond Marina.
When this reporter and a colleague were in need of some in-person face time, we recently headed over to Anh, located on 1950 Esplanade Dr. in Richmond, next door to the old Salute Restaurant (soon to be Lara’s).
The waterfront restaurant, which opened in 2017 and features an attractive, modern décor, a bar and indoor/outdoor seating, is owned by Richmond husband-and-wife restaurateurs Candice Nguyen and Gio Gelera. The husband-and-wife duo also own the Bubbaloo Café on Marina Way—named for their dogs—but this time around named Anh after Nguyen’s mother, a talented chef and Vietnamese refugee who brought her family to the East Bay in the early 80s.
Due to the beautiful weather that day, our little party opted for a table on Anh’s outdoor deck, which has stunning views of the Richmond Marina, Vincent Park and the bay.
As Anh newbies, we were eager to sample the restaurant’s menu, decisions that didn’t come easily due to the wide array of mouth-watering choices that presented themselves.
My colleague opted to order the Chicken Curry, which was slow-cooked with sweet potato and carrots, served with Jasmine rice and was presented in a simple, earthy bowl. According to my lunch partner, his meal was very tasty and lived up to its description on the menu as being “the perfect blend of sweet, savory, and spice.” From my vantage point, his lunch appeared to be the perfect menu option for a fall day, and struck a balance between hearty and elevated in terms of presentation.
For my part, I ordered the Goi Ga (Chicken & Cabbage Salad), which included a blend of shredded chicken, green and red cabbage, bean sprouts, peppers, carrots and daikon radish tossed with a blend of herbs and the restaurant’s special house dressing. My salad was both generous in portion and incredibly delicious, an explosion of flavors with a little bit of kick, courtesy of one of the green peppers. The sweet and tangy dressing provided an excellent counterpoint to the salad’s spicy element and elevated its sister ingredients.
To drink, both members of our party ordered the Jasmine iced tea, which offered a very refreshing twist on an old favorite.
Our server provided impeccable service, friendly and attentive to our needs yet not overbearing in her visits to our table. Overall, this reporter highly recommends a visit to Anh, and if the weather permits, especially a seat on the restaurant’s gorgeous waterside deck as the perfect way to enjoy lunch or dinner. Next time I visit, I hope to explore the menu further by trying the Crab Imperial Rolls starter and perhaps one of Ahn’s various phở options.
Anh is open Mon.-Fri. for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner from 5-9 p.m. On Sat. and Sun. it’s open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day. For more info click here or call 510-680-5292.