Bangas & Wings @ The Union Bar

To wind down from a seemingly short summer (it's all because of summer school, I tells ya), Tiff and I met up at The Union Bar to grab some drinks.  I've heard so many positive things about this establishment, and I was excited to finally visit.

After some indecisiveness, we finally chose our drinks (which are double by default).  I opted for the phuket coconut spritzer ($10), with toasted coconut rum, navy rum, fresh pineapple, pandan syrup, pandan leaf, soda water, whereas Tiff went with one of The Union's signature bangas -- essentially a cocktail in a jar.  Upon initial tasting, the mix of rums were strong, whilst the pineapple added some fruitiness to it.

Tiff's banga #4 with pineapple, cilantro, cardamom, cachaca, chili water also packed a punch.  Interestingly enough, she does not eat spicy.  Although not overly spicy, the chili water definitely made the drink a lot warmer.  I didn't really like it because of this.

These wings.  These wings were life changing.  Freshly cooked and coated with thai hot nahm jim glaze, the wings, dare I say it, were probably even better than (or at least on par with) those of Phnom Penh.  Now I know, those ones are indeed delicious and people note them to be the best in Vancouver, but they have so much MSG on them! On the other hand, these ones from the Union didn't seem to have much and were definitely fresh and hot.  The glaze had so many dimensions: salty, sweet, sour, and a bit of spiciness.  If they had wings specials, I'd go every week.  Right now, they're $12 per order with about 10 wings.

We also got the sweet and sour fried fish bún vermicelli bowl ($12), a noodle salad bowl with the usual suspects: pickled carrot and daikon, along with cucumbers, lettuce, bean sprouts, scallions, served with nuoc cham.  To our delight, the fried fish was coated with a glaze similar to that of the wings! Fresh and piping hot, they had a slight crisp to them and were definitely the highlight of the dish.  Everything else about the bowl seemed quite standard and to par with Vietnamese restaurants.

More: Rick Chung

The Union Bar
219 Union St
Vancouver, BC
(604) 568-3230
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Those drinks look really interesting, especially the clear one in the jar. Btw what's with the new layout? :P

Yeah they specialize in those drinks in a jar I think! Pretty cool. The old layout was boring and I had a lot of free time on my hands during my break before co-op started.

You didn't get the Oolong Island Iced Bubble Tea?? http://www.flickr.com/photos/kwu/6907843999/in/set-72157629396532799/

Remembered after the fact. Must go back and have that. Along with the wings.

Hi Janice - thanks for the review! Just an FYI, the fish in the vermicelli bowl are glazed with a very different sauce than the wings, but I'm glad you enjoyed everything . . . Lisa, chef

Thanks Lisa for the tidbit of info and dropping a comment!

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