Much like Chinese cuisine where there is a clear distinction between Dim Sum and dinner service, it is much of the same for a Vietnamese restaurant when we look at the typical Pho versus Bo 7 Mon. Most people are familiar with the bowl of rice noodles in beef broth; yet not so much with the "beef 7 ways". Normally served during Vietnamese weddings, this is only available at a select few restaurants in town. Other than Song Huong, there are other places that offer variations; but not the full 7 courses. Last time I was at Thai Hang, I enjoyed a good beef 7 ways meal. However, I've never tried the other regular Vietnamese dishes on the menu.
When Kaiser Soze suggested we go to one of his favourite Vietnamese restaurants after Sunday morning hockey, JuJu and I were game. The fact we were able to snag one of the last 2 tables indicated that he's not the only one that likes the place. Much like Pho Tam, there are lunch specials which give a choice of Pho and a starter. For myself, I went for the Spring Roll. First things first, the fact they used rice wrappers made for a more authentic spring roll. Secondly, it was fried up nicely without being too oily. And lastly, the filling was not too dense and had plenty of flavour even without the dip. JuJu also had a combo and went for the Salad Roll instead. These were pretty modest in size and loosely wrapped. Therefore, some of the filling fell out when it was dipped into the sauce. It was also a bit heavy on the lettuce, which may have contributed to the loose filling. Other than that, it was fine.
We all had Pho, so I'm not going to talk about 3 bowls that were basically the same. Kaiser Soze mentioned that Thai Hang's portions are generally some of the largest he's seen. I would agree that the portions are decent; but it doesn't hold a candle to Pho Tam. As for the meats, they were tender and plentiful. The noodles were prepared correctly while the soup was pretty good. It wasn't as flavourful as I would've liked. At the very least, it didn't seem like there was an overabundance of MSG. Now at this point, we were moderately satisfied; but not completely so. Well, Kaiser Soze was fine, he didn't want to eat anymore. However, JuJu and I could eat more. And so we did. We ending up splitting an order of Lemongrass Chicken on Rice. Now this was a generous portion of 2 deboned chicken legs atop broken rice. The chicken was very moist and juicy with a whole lot of flavour. We could definitely taste the marinade and it went well with the properly cooked rice. My only wish would be for a bit more charring. That was a great way to finish off a satisfying lunch. Not the best Vietnamese food we've ever had; yet it was universally above average and well-priced.
- Decent portions
- Food is above average
- Seating is tight
- Service is hurried and sparse (but what do you expect...)