Lucy had it a couple of times already, and it wasn't until recently that we've known what it was called. I have to thank my friend VN for that. Lucy likes it better than pho because she prefers the lighter broth.
Our cousin, JT, also prefers hu tieu over pho. Why? Well, she only had her first bowl of pho a couple of months ago. When I asked her why she liked it better than pho, she replied, "There's more than just beef; therefore, it's better. Plus you get the shrimp cracker."
A couple of weeks after I took her to have pho for the first time, we went to try some of Ottawa's hu tieu. Wait, let me rephrase that: she wanted to try Ottawa's version of hu tieu. I had pho. I'm so predictable.
So here we have JT's lovely bowl of hu tieu at Pho Bo Ga LA. It arrived with the yummy deep-fried shrimp pancake. The Hokkien-styled hu tieu had two different kinds of noodles. It's typically made with thin rice noodles and thin egg noodles, but as you can see in the picture, the egg noodles were the thicker kind. Her soup wasn't that flavourful. It tasted watery and sweet - so much that we ended up mixing some of our soups together. I remember the first time Lucy had hu tieu here, and the soup had more flavour than that. We were both disappointed with her bowl. It could've been a bad day though, so we'll go again soon. The only positive that came out of her dish was, you guessed it, the deep-fried shrimp pancake.
Here's a close up of the star of the dish. Dipped in the really sweet soup, the crunchy pancake soaked up the soup and was very yummy.
During my Toronto trip (in October), we had some time to kill in Chinatown, so I started egging Jennie on about going to have some of her beloved Hokkien-style hu tieu. She caved in, and we went to her favourite place: the Kim Vietnamese Restaurant. Since we weren't that hungry, we decided to split two bowls between myself, JT, and my youngest brother, Andrew.
She ordered her Hokkien-styled hu tieu, while I ordered a simple rare beef one. Her bowl was full of delicious treasures: fake crab, crab claws, rare beef and "medium beef" (the one that is layered with fat and thinly sliced).
The soup was very good. The combination of the fried scallions and light broth reminded me of the Phnom Penh noodles. The deep fried shrimp pancake was crunchy, but turned into a fried sponge when you left it in the soup - so awesome. I definitely recommend that you go and try this. Go now!
Pho Bo Ga LA
763 Somerset Street West
Kim Vietnamese Restaurant
546 Dundas Street West