Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Pho’

We’ve been to a few Vietnamese restaurants in Toronto and one in Montreal and its the only restaurant nationality I’ve ever seen the self-serve order check! The menu items are all labelled with numbers and you write your item number, size and price on the form. There is NO TALKING. Now my friend Barb, from Profiteroles and Ponytails can attest, I’m not a big fan of small talk – but I must admit, I find this custom is quite strange! Even the Japanese establishments we frequent with freshly landed Japanese wait-staff suffer through the language difficulties without the order-by-number form. Is this custom world-wide? Do other cultures use it? Please do comment and let me know!

Fill out your order, there will be NO TALKING!

My favourite Vietnamese place close to work (Asia 21) know me as #102 small, I don’t even have to order. I just walk in (OK, I fill out the form, but she places the order to the kitchen before I fill it out) hand the lady my cash (they don’t take credit or debit) and they hand me my soup to go. Rare Beef Pho (pronounced Fa). I could eat this every day, except for the sodium content (my rings are tight even thinking about it!)

Pho Huong is a relatively upscale Vietnamese restaurant; it has great lighting and very nice contemporary décor (compared to Asia 21 which still has light blue ‘fake ship motif’ décor, remnants from the predecessor Greek place, and fluorescent lighting). And, it’s close to our hood, it’s a bit further north than Bloor West Village in The Junction. It’s usually packed and this past Saturday was no different. JT and I stopped in for lunch because it was a drizzly, snowy grey day and I wanted soup! And they give you free tea!

I order the Pho with rare beef; I love this soup because it takes time to eat it. First, you have to add all of the inclusions: sorrel, thai basil, a squirt of lime, bean sprouts (if you wish, I usually don’t) and Sriracha Sauce and Hoisin Sauce. JT’s polished off half his lunch before I even start! And then the soup is really, really hot, so you can’t guzzle (not that I would :-P).

These are all the inclusions for the soup

The soup it so hot, it actually cooks the thinly sliced raw beef. I like to add Srirachi sauce to spice it up a bit!

JT gets Bunn or something like it. Lots of fried stuff.

Overall rating of Pho Huong (in my opinion. I’m rating this compared to other Asian restaurants in Toronto): Decor 4/5, service 3.5/5, food 4/5, Value 4/5, Noise: 5/5 (1 being very noisy, and 5 being very quiet).

Disclaimer: We purchased our meal for full price and my opinions just that, my opinions.

Read Full Post »

Toronto has a diverse cultural population and we love it. For example, did you know that Toronto has the largest Italian population next to Rome? We have Little Italy, Little India, Greektown, Korea Town, Chinatown, well you get my drift. When you enter these small areas (sometimes only one street, or two or three blocks) you are transformed from being in big city Toronto to being in Italy or even India! We are indeed very fortunate to be able to live safely, peacefully and embrace our diverse cultures. We LOVE this, particularly the FOOD!

Very close to where I work, there are a couple of Vietnamese restaurants; we sometimes go to a place called Asia 21. It’s not pretty, but the food is fresh and good and family run; the only bad side is that they only take cash, and they are not licensed (somehow this type of food does not pair well with wine anyway, but I still love it!) I am addicted to Phô, a clear beef broth with very thinly sliced rare beef, rice noodles and herbs; it’s ‘Happy food’ or Vietnamese comfort food. I totally get it, I can eat this for every meal, every day! Sadly, there is so MUCH salt in the restaurant versions that I swell up like a dirigible on Superbowl Sunday — not a pretty site! We’ve started making our own so we can control the salt. I must say, I like it even better. The temperatures in Toronto couldn’t be less like soup weather…but I have to say, I have missed my Phô! It’s humid and unseasonably warm, NOT complaining! JT made an excellent Phô last night, and I had it for lunch today (did I mention that I can eat this EVERY DAY?). We’ve adapted Canadian Living’s Beef Phô (click for original recipe) A delicately fragrant beef broth, with ginger, cinnamon, cloves, star anise. It’s really a flavour explosion in your mouth. We season it with fresh mint, cilantro and thai basil. I also add hoisin sauce (sweet) and Sriracha Sauce (hot, they call it Asian Catsup). My mouth is watering as I type this on my iPad (sitting at the island in the kitchen while JT cooks up another specialty, Israeli Couscous and Grilled Shrimp). YUM! I am a very fortunate woman.

Phô

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: