Sherman's Food Adventures: Thien Trang

Thien Trang

It seems like every meal with my in-laws involves Dim Sum (and especially at Tung Sing Chin...  which I'm not a huge fan of).  Imagine that, eating with my Mother-in-Law and suffering through mediocre Chinese food...  Can someone get me a copy of that Miley Cyrus performance?  Uh, better not...  So this time around, I suggested we do Vietnamese and headed over to Thien Trang (which used to be the old location of Mui Ngo Gai).

To begin, we had both the Spring and Salad Rolls.  With a crisp exterior and filled with ground pork, onions, carrots and wood ear mushrooms, the spring rolls were pretty good.  I liked how the filling was not too loose nor too dense.  It had a nice sweet onion and fish sauce flavour.  They could've done a better job draining the oil as the plate was quite greasy.  As for the salad roll, it was attractively constructed with meaty shrimp and a nicely textured rice paper wrap.  The crunch from the lettuce was good while the vermicelli still retained a bite.  We would've liked some basil though.  Moreover, the dip was a bit too peanutty and could've used more hoisin.

Viv had the Pho Dac Biet and it was a pretty decent portion full of al dente noodles and tender meats.  I particularly liked the brisket as it was slightly fatty and really soft.  Light in colour and flavour, the soup was more sweet than savoury.  I could pick out some of the aromatics but in the end, it was a fairly mild broth.  Since we had 3 bowls of pho at the table already, I decided to go for the Bun Bo Hue.  Right when it hit the table, I was happy to see the inclusion of pork blood and feet.  That, at the very least, made it look legit.  I found the soup to be mildly spicy with a hint of aromatics.  The lai fun was slippery and chewy while the meats were good.

I also got a Grilled Pork Banh Mi and it was decent.  The fatty pork had a deep caramelized colour and flavour which was sweet and a bit smoky.  Combined with the crunchy veggies and a fairly crusty baguette, it was not bad for a non-banh mi joint.  The kids ended up sharing a Combo C which included Lemongrass Chicken, Vietnamese Ham and Egg with Rice.  Sharing the same dark hue as the grilled pork, the chicken was a bit firm along the edges.  It was flavourful though with caramelized sweetness. All-in-all, the dishes we had at Thien Trang were solid.  Furthermore, we found the service to be honest and attentive.

The Good:
- Solid eats across the board
- Nice people

The Bad:
- Flavours were mostly mild

Pho Thien Trang on Urbanspoon


Steve said...

Even though I live in the neighbourhood, this is one place that I have yet to visit. My usual and favourite Vietnamese go to-in this area is Kim Thien (Got Pho?). Have you tried their Bun Bo Hue, and if so, how does it stack up against Thien Trang's version?
By the way, I finally got out to Pho Tam in Surrey recently and enjoyed the best bowl of BBH that I have ever had - too bad it's so far away or I'd be in there way more often.
Thank you for the recommendation!

Sherman Chan said...

@Steve Awesome! Pho Tam is so good! As for the BBH at KT, I haven't tried it yet, but the one here is definitely decent!

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