Last time while we were leaving Sushi Turn House, a restaurant caught my eye. Really, it wasn't anything special. Nothing more than your hole-in-the-wall noodle joint. However, the name, Eatwell, seemed very familiar. Ah yes, Jessica had blogged about this place before. If she hadn't, I would've overlooked this place easily. Honestly, this is not really a place anyone would drive far and wide to visit. Rather, it merely serves the locals. When we arrived, the owners were sending some customers off, much like you'd do with friends. If the place wasn't much to look at from the outside, the inside doesn't get much better. The place is functional, let's say that. We were greeted warmly by the staff and it was quite apparent that they do treat their customers very well. Every other customer that walked in seemed like a regular.
Now, the place advertises itself as a Vietnamese restaurant; however it is Chinese-run. Once again, it's not who runs the place that is important. The food always does the talking. The first thing that struck me was the extremely low prices. A small bowl of Pho is only $5.25 and a large is a buck more. They have some combos that give a choice of bubble tea or spring roll with a large bowl of Pho for $7.25 - $7.75. There is also a student special that runs under $5.00. That probably explained the steady stream of teens walking in for take-out. Regardless of the food, these are the type of places that hold a special place in my heart because it's an honest business run by good people. Yet, I still have to talk about the food!
For myself, I went for Combo B which gave me a choice of large Pho and a bubble tea. As per usual, I had the Special Pho, which comes with all the meats. When they say large, they mean it. Unlike some places that merely give you a larger bowl with the same amount of food (ahem... Pho Hoa), there were plenty of noodles and meat in my large. The noodles were slightly on the softer side while the meats were tender including the rare steak. The soup was flavourful while lacking depth. This is probably due to extra salt or MSG. For the price, I'm not really complaining though. I ended up passing the bubble tea to Viv and she thought it was average, not enough flavour. I added a Banh Mi for good measure. Um... I have to say that it was a fail. The bread itself was crunchy; yet everything else was not right. There was a lack of meat and other usual ingredients. Only pickled daikon and lettuce??? with no carrots, hot pepper, cilantro, pate or fish sauce. I think they replaced fish sauce with Maggi.
Viv ended up with the Grilled Chicken with rice and spring roll. The chicken was both flavourful and very tender & juicy. After the Banh Mi, we expected the wheat wrapper on the spring roll. Despite that, it was alright. Now, after reading this, you might think that I wouldn't return due to the unauthentic, generally average food at Eatwell. Actually, I would. For the prices they charge, I can see why there are so many regulars. Furthermore, I felt like we were visiting someones' house rather than a restaurant. Yes, they were that nice and friendly. When we left, they chatted with us and played with our kids. Lollipops were given out and that made the kiddies very happy. As you can see, even with some shortcomings, this is a type of place where you can overlook them.
- Good portions
- Super-friendly owners
- Not really all that authentic
- Food is pretty average