Sherman's Food Adventures: Tang's Vietnamese

Tang's Vietnamese

Awhile back, I had stopped by for a quick meal at Tang's but only tried their Pho and not much else.  I thought it was pretty solid but lamented that I didn't try some of their more unique dishes.  Well, that wasn't going to be a problem this time around since Jackie and I were there to sample their featured items as well as ordering a few classic dishes as well.  I enjoy the collection of Vietnamese restaurants in town that now serve more than the basic dishes.  Love the variety.

As such, we began with a dish that is becoming more popular in some of the newer Vietnamese spots in the Signature Viet Butter Garlic Beef.  Of course we always have to compare to the most famous version of all - Phnom Penh.  This one featured less cilantro and smaller slices of raw beef.  But in my opinion, this was more tender and easier to eat.  In terms of taste, this was more mildly-flavoured where I could taste the garlic butter. 

Next up, we had the Tamarind Viet Snails.  These can also be had in sea salt or garlic butter.  I actually thought tamarind was a good match for these large snails since the other 2 flavours could have less impact than the tangy and sweet tamarind.  Texturally, these snails did have a chew, but were ultimately tender enough to eat fairly easily.  Due to the amount of meat, the impactful tamarind helped flavour the dish.

Another special dish was the Saigon Salted Egg Yolk Prawns.  This could also be prepared with tamarind, but since we already had that, the salted egg yolk was the flavour of choice.  The medium-sized prawns were deep-fried enough that we could eat the whole thing including the shell.  However, it may have needed just a bit more deep fry because some parts were hard to chew.  The prawns were perfectly cooked with sweet bouncy meat.  As for the sauce, it was definitely full of creamy salted egg yolk as well as garlic.

We added 2 other smaller dishes in the Shoulder Pole Chicken Feet with kumquat and lemongrass as well as the Oyster Pancake.  The gelatinized chicken feet were appealing in texture while so flavourful from the ample lemongrass.  There was sweetness and tang from the kumquat.  Rather plain-looking, the oyster pancake ate much better than its appearance.  It was crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.  There was a good amount of buttery and briny oysters hidden within.

We had Combo Set A as well that consisted of sugar cane prawn, grilled beef skewer and spring roll with vermicelli.  This was a good mix of components where the prawn paste on the sugar cane was bouncy and sweet.  The beef was well-charred, tender and caramelized.  Spring roll was crispy with a tender pork filling with the usual carrot and wood ear.  Also on the plate was basil, lettuce and veggies.  The trick here is to wrap all of the ingredients like a lettuce wrap.

On the topic of wraps, the Beef Rib Bánh Hỏi featured well-charred grilled beef short ribs.  They were marinated well with a rich sweetness accented by the saltiness of the fish sauce.  The dish came with vermicelli noodle sheets that you can wrap the short rib, basil and veggies.  Add some nuoc cham and you have a nice little bite with textures and briny saltiness.  As much as this was an appetizer of sorts, I would've been happy eating this by myself!

Here we go with the Phở Dặc Biệt because well, we needed to feature phở  at a Vietnamese restaurant.  As mentioned earlier, this was a solid bowl of phở  with a broth that was clean and had some rich flavours.  I wouldn't way it was particularly meaty, but the sweetness of the charred onion and daikon were present.  I could also get the licorice hits from the star anise.  The noodles were abundant and al dente while the thinly sliced meats were tender and plentiful.

Lastly, we had the Beef Luc Lac served on a sizzling cast iron plate.  Rather than cubes of meat, this featured thinly sliced beef.  This was closer in texture to the one found at Phnom Penh but with a much lighter sauce.  It was still sweet, savoury and caramelized.  Combined with the runny egg, this worked well with the plain rice on the side.  Overall, the food at Tang is quite good across the board.  Lots of interesting dishes in addition to the usual stuff.  We didn't get to try their hot pot or crab, but it looked good on the menu!  Something else to try next time!

*All food and beverages were complimentary for this blog post*

The Good:
- Solid eats
- Some unique dishes
- Well-portioned

The Bad:

- Parking at the back can be a challenge on busy nights
- On the pricier side


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