After my visit to BLTF for the Curry Challenge, Hai Phong was up next with the fam. We ended up at their new location near Stadium Station right across from T&T Supermarket. Since the location is significantly smaller than their original Kingsway store, the menu is also somewhat downsized, yet, all the basics are there. Once again, I decided to do a full post on the place despite having visited their other restaurant. Again, not all are created equal even if they are the same name...
We began our meal with the Beef Salad comprised of shredded cabbage mixed with house dressing topped with crispy fried shallots, Vietnamese coriander and roasted peanuts served with ginger fish sauce. Predictably, there was a crunchy, fresh texture from the cabbage, carrots, daikon and fried shallots. The salad was fragrant while hit with the sweet and saltiness from the fish sauce. We liked the ample beef, but it was a bit chewy. Next up was the Garlic Butter Chicken Wings tossed with some hot chili peppers. These were spiked with enough flavour to tickle all of our tastebuds. They were aromatic, spicy and of course, garlicky. Dipped into the lemon-pepper sauce, it added the necessary acidity. The wings themselves weren't exactly juicy, but weren't dry either.
Next we moved onto a bowl of Pho with all the meats (there are no actual set Pho selections, you merely customize it). We found the broth to be clean, light and sweet with a meaty finish. All the meats were okay except for the brisket as it was rather chewy. Noodles were both plentiful and toothsome. We then got to try their entry into the Curry Challenge being the Chicken Curry Noodle Soup. This consisted of boneless chicken and taro simmered in a light curry broth infused with lemongrass and coconut milk. Rather than the regular Pho accompaniments, it was served with vermicelli, bean sprouts, chives, Vietnamese coriander, white and green onions and finely sliced chilli peppers. The result was a sweet and fragrant broth that was mildly spiced (until we added the hot chili peppers). The abundance of moist chicken added body to the dish.
For the kiddies, we got them a plate of Grilled Lemongrass Chicken & Fried Egg with Rice. In a large mound underneath the ingredients, the rice was fluffy, yet chewy. We found the chicken well-charred with good amount of lemongrass. It was moist while not exactly juicy. The kids seemed to like it and that was most important. Overall, we quite liked the meal as well. It wasn't utterly amazing, but it was solid as expected. We didn't see any deviation from their original location so consistency is not an issue.
*Only the Chicken Curry Noodle Soup was comped*
- Carefully prepared eats
- Okay pricing for quality/quantity
- Not the most spacious of dining spaces