Friday, February 06, 2009

Pho Hung

I've always been curious as to how good Pho Hung actually was. Pho Hung is at the corner of Spadina and St. Andrews. You can't really miss their huge sign with the cow cheese cow, especially at night when their huge sign is lit. What has really got my attention is that everytime I look over, they're always full. It might just look full because the waiters/waitresses smartly fill the window side first, is what you might think, but I assure you that I always took towards the back to actually see if it's full and not just a clever way of the restaurant falsely presenting themselves, like Yangtze does. That's right. I know what you're up to!

Well, Ben and I went to Chinatown, again, to buy some buns from the bakery before they closed, before heading to the popular pho joint. Good thing, because one place actually cleared their shelves and split the buns in a couple of bags. They placed six in a bag for two dollars each bag. Love it. I check every bag to try and find the one that has more of the ham, mayo and cheese buns. Mmm.... sounds weird, but it's sooo good! In the end, I just grabbed a bag because it seemed like they split everything as equal as possible. Too bad we didn't get there earlier. I could've had a bag of six ham, mayo and cheese buns... *drool*

We head to the pho place and what do ya know? It's packed. It's a Friday night, I know, but it's busy almost everyday! We get seated almost right away, look over the menu, decided what we ordered and tried to give our order to the staff, but they seemed to be hiding on us. I took a couple of pictures of the decor while waiting. They had quite a few fish related decor hanging on their walls, like this one above the door. 

Then there was this typical Vietnamese... mural-picture-expensive-thing?

So when the waitress finally decided to showed up, we handed our order and waited some more. We waited for, what seemed like 10 minutes. Other people who arrived after us got their meals first. It wasn't just one or two tables, it seemed like every table around us had their food before us. How were they getting their food right after they gave their orders? Where was our food? I was starting to think that our order got lost, when our order of spring rolls came. I almost forgot to take a picture of it. Can you tell? lol They weren't that great. Dinky compared to the ones at Pho 88. I still like the ones in Ottawa (at Vietnamese Palace and Pho Thu Do).

We waited another couple of minutes, watching the restaurant's turn over grow. I was amazed at how quickly people ate. There was one guy beside us that arrived after us that ate, paid his bill and left before we even got our mains. Craziness! My large bowl of pho tai chin (well done beef and rare beef) arrived soon after we realised the guy left. Not long after mine came, Ben's vermicelli noodle bowl game. He ordered something with BBQ pork, spiced pork (that sweet, red stuff) and a spring roll. Noticed the Sriracha bottle? It's actually filled with the nuoc nam (fish sauce sauce). I thought it was pretty smart, letting people add however much nuoc nam they desired. It's also saves time if you think about it.

The soup wasn't bad. It was the sweet stuff. I guess they make it taste like that everywhere you go. The noodles were a bit over done. There was no bite to it. It made me enjoy my bowl less. =( I guess what balances it out was that they actually gave me rare beef and not beef that they shock first, unlike Ottawa places...

My friend also ordered a strawberry milkshake. Fresh strawberries were used, according to their menu, and they did not lie (... not this time anyway). We definitely tasted fresh strawberries. How could you not use them though? People are selling little boxes of them for a dollar each, sometimes cheaper.

I think I might come back and have the vermicelli bowl next time. Not because the pho is bad or anything. I just miss it - but only realised it when I stole a bite of my friend's. I prefer this place over Pho 88, because I can't taste pig's feet in Pho Hung's soup. Maybe I'm going crazy, but I swear Pho 88 uses it. Does anyone else taste it? It's not just me, is it?



Pho Hung
350 Spadina Ave
Toronto, ON

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