Chez Lien Vietnamese Restaurant, Saint-Constant

It was a spur of the moment invitation from old family friends and former bosses that brought us to a Chez Lien Vietnamese Restaurant in Saint-Constant, a place my mother had been to a few times and really enjoyed. Chez Lien is a chain, but she says that they have different owners and vary in quality. The one in Saint-Constant is the cleanest.

I’ll just make a parenthesis here to say that I started working for my bosses more than 20 years ago. I can’t believe it’s been that long! I last worked for them 14 years ago. We are still close and I can’t believe their boys are all grown up and starting to have children of their own. It makes me feel about 10 years older than I am.

Anyway, back to Chez Lien. They have a basic but mostly authentic Vietnamese menu with some Thai and ‘Chinese’ items as well as a very opinionated server. My mother gets a kick out of him. Everyone else had a combination fish and seafood platter with soup. I went for one imperial roll and the lemongrass chicken sauté. I wanted rice but when the server told me he was bringing me vermicelli, I felt it best not to argue. My mother said that I would have heard about it for five minutes if I’d argued with him for wanting the wrong carb with my meal. That sounds unpleasant, but he was hilarious!

The hearty roll came with fish dipping sauce (a clear and sweet sauce made with fish but not tasting like it at all) and a nice salad with a yummy peanut dressing. My dinner was very late coming out; my companions were halfway finished with theirs when mine arrive. But it was worth the wait! I had a huge plate of perfectly sautéd veggies and nice pieces of chicken swimming in a thin and fragrant lemongrass sauce that had just a bit of kick to it. I threw the noodles in to absorb some of the yummy sauce. Mmm! I adore lemongrass!

Chez Lien serves a variety of fruits deep fried in a wonton wrapper as dessert. Only two of us opted for dessert. My mother chose banana and I chose apple. Dessert was a bit ho hum, needing a little cinnamon or nutmeg, but the sweet sesame sauce made it pretty special. The coffee was very good, albeit a little too close to tepid to really savour.

I really enjoyed our meal at Chez Lien, especially when compared to my last experience at a Vietnamese restaurant! If I were to go back there, I would most likely have the lemongrass chicken again. It was just too good to try something else!

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  • Thank goodness I’d just finished lunch before reading this or I’d have emptied all the food from the house! I don’t care for hot or spicy food. On a 1-5 scale where would you rate lemongrass?

  • I don’t like hot/spicy food either. On a scale of 1 is absolutely not spicy to 5 being the depths of hell, I’d put lemongrass at a 1.5 to 2. It doesn’t have much more kick than horseradish or black pepper, just enough to wake up the taste buds.

  • Hmm, horseradish burns my tongue but I really like black pepper. I’ll have to try LG next time it’s on the menu. Thanks.

  • Lucie, I think you would like lemongrass if you like lemon and don’t find black pepper too spicy. I don’t find that it burns so much as excites the taste buds. I love it in soup.

  • […] salad, noodles, meat, and a side of fish sauce looked lovely and tasted pretty good, but it was nowhere near lemongrassy enough for me. There was just a hint of it in some bites, but for a meal labeled lemongrass, it wasn’t […]

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