Friday, April 27, 2012

The Pho Files: Pho Tai at Ho Vietnamese Noodle House

Pho Tai by raise my voice
Pho Tai, a photo by raise my voice on Flickr.

For the longest time, this address housed the one noodle house in Chinatown I had yet to try. The reason? The outside of the building looked so run down, that I feared what was going on in the kitchen. At the advice of my fellow pho-loving friends on Twitter, who told me the food was no better or worse than anywhere else, I decided to give it a try. However, by this time the restaurant had been sold and was closed.

Ho Vietnamese Noodle House is the new restaurant that has opened in the space at 9656 107A Avenue. The menu is quite large, and includes everything from pho soup and vermicelli noodle bowls to stir fried and sizzling dishes.

I went with a regular sized bowl of Pho Tai. For a regular bowl, it was huge, and had more noodles than average. The beef was sliced thin and was tender, although it was already cooked through when it reached the table.

And how did the soup taste? I could smell the aromatics in the broth as soon as the bowls were placed before us, which was a very good sign. Broth really makes or breaks pho. It should have several layers of flavour, without being overly salty or sweet. This broth was light coloured, not too greasy, and had a wonderful combination of seasonings. It was delicious.

Don't judge a book by its cover - or in this case, a restaurant by its former appearance. Ho Vietnamese Noodle House is poised to add more flavour to Chinatown.

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