There’s a fascinating story behind Little Sapa Viet House that not everyone knows.
Vietnamese immigrants Thuan Le and wife Thy (pronounced twan and tee) are already familiar faces to Regina aficionados of Vietnamese fare. The couple has long been a popular fixture on the Regina landscape of authentic Vietnamese, Chinese and Tai cuisine, as they have cooked for other restaurants. Here’s how they came to live in the area:
As a teenager, Thuan escaped from his war-ravaged homeland of Vietnam, landing in a Malaysian refugee camp. There he was forced to work without pay for 6 years. In the mid-1980s, at the age of 25, he and his brother finally gained permission to live in Canada, and they landed here in Regina.
Thy, who was in a similar situation, came to Regina in 1990, as she had family living here at the time to sponsor her. Thuan was working at a Broad Street restaurant during the 9-year period after his arrival when he met and married Thy and started a family. In 1999, the couple opened their own restaurant called Tay-do but sold the popular business 2 years later due to the extensive hours it required.
Now the Le family is back in business with Little Sapa Viet House on University Park Drive, where they still sell their famous Vietnamese pho (a deliciously spiced soup that takes 7 hours to cook). Most of their savoury fare is made from scratch, and all of it is beloved by Regina. Thuan no longer has to worry about impossible hours, with many more relatives helping him in the kitchen now. Here’s to many more years in business!