• [Food Post] Tsujiri Toronto

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  • [Food Post] Nordstrom Eaton Centre Opening Gala featuring Daniel et Daniel

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  • [Food Post] Waterloo Food Tour

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  • [Food Post] Ebisu on Queen / Ebisu Toronto

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  • [Food Post] Morals Village Mississauga

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  • [Event] The Royal Dinner with Chef Michael Bonacini

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  • [Food Post] CNE Media Preview 2016

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  • [Travel] Day #15 in Japan [Koyasan]

    A shukubo is an accommodation that allows you to stay in a Japanese temple or shrine for the night, and enables you to experience the culture. You are given your own personal room, and there are multiple washroom facilities throughout the temple.

Showing posts with label Vietnamese. Show all posts

Pho Dau Bo

The thing about Mississauga is that there is a plethora of well-known chains, so dinner options are kind of limited in my opinion. Even Vietnamese restaurants up here are chains with multiple locations throughout the GTA. Out of all the choices that we had, we chose Pho Dau Bo, cause it was a short drive away. Pho Dau Bo serves traditional Vietnamese food at reasonable prices. They're located in a nondescript plaza, and offers minimum decor. However, they are always bustling with customers on both weekdays and weekends.

I have been to this Pho Dau Bo at least three times in the past two months. They make pretty solid rice dishes, so I have always ordered the same rice dish. My regular order is always (#469) grilled chicken, grilled pork chop, shredded pork, steamed egg, and fried egg with steamed rice ($8.25). This dish was generously portioned, and came with a bit of everything that I like. Both the grilled chicken and grilled pork chop were flavorful, and fairly moist. Additionally, the overall presentation of the rice dish was pretty decent.

The brisk and non-conversational service is exactly what you come to expect from any Vietnamese establishments in the city. So for me, the service isn't really a factor when it comes to choosing a Vietnamese restaurant to eat at as the food quality is much more important to me. I find the food at Pho Dau Bo to be pretty consistent, and I have never had any issues with them. The portions are generous, and you can easily feed two people for under $25 (including tax/tip).

Address: 1125 Dundas St E, Mississauga, ON, L4Y 2C3

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Big Head Prawn

I am rarely up in Markham as it is not easily accessible by TTC, and pretty far from my house to drive. However, when I am in the area, I usually go to the restaurants around the First Markham Place area. I have been to a few good restaurants in the area, but I haven't found a good Vietnamese place yet.

Big Head Prawn is a standard Vietnamese restaurant offering the typical dishes like pho, vermicelli, rice dishes, appetizers, drinks, etc ...  They also offer daily specials for lunch between the hours of 11 am to 5 am. I believe that the specials change often, and it's between $5.99 to $6.99 per dish. They also offer a free cup of salted lemon juice, ice lemon tea or sour plum juice with each set.

 I ordered the BBQ pork, and spring roll vermicelli ($7.95). I was disappointed that the vermicelli arrived cold, and the spring roll itself was also lukewarm. The spring roll filling was rather bland, but at least the skin was crispy. Additionally, similar to the downtown restaurant, Train, the dish had a very distinct Chinese flavor to it.

I thought that the minced shrimp on sugar cane ($5.95) was pretty good, and the size wasn't bad either.

 A large size beef and beef tendon pho ($7.95).

Quality of Food: 2.7/5
Service: 3.5/5
Overall Dining Experience: 3/5
Price: $

Address: 4450 Highway 7 East #3 Markham, ON L3R1L9 

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Pho Mi 99

Growing up in a Vietnamese household, I was spoiled by countless bowls of home-made pho and bun bo hue. I rarely order pho out nowadays as I have been disappointed with most of them as they are sometimes MSG-laden and comes with tons of fillers (bean sprouts, lime, and not much meat). I was in the Mississauga area one afternoon, and decided to check out Pho Mi 99.

The restaurant sits in a rather busy plaza, and there is a large parking lot with free parking. Walking inside, the restaurant was simply decorated, but its interior was rather spacious. My bf and I were greeted and quickly seated. Like many other Vietnamese establishments, they offer a variety of items from appetizers, rice dishes, pho, bun bo hue, soups, vermicelli dishes, drinks, and etc ...

As a starter, I ordered the deep fried spring rolls as an appetizer (#13) ($4.25) which came with two pieces. The spring rolls had a good crunch to it, but there was nothing special about the filling.

As my main course, I got the grilled chicken & grilled pork with vermicelli (#423) ($7.00). I thought that the noodles were perfectly cooked and the there was a good amount of meat. Additionally, both the grilled chicken and grilled pork were tender, and I liked the marinate that coated the meat. Portion-wise, it was a very filling meal.

The bun bo bue (hue style soup) #436) ($8.00) was available in only one size. The soup had a decent amount of noodles, and the broth was flavorful. I know of some places that opt out of blood curds, but there were two pieces given here.

 The overall service was rather friendly, and attentive. Additionally, the food didn't take long to arrive to our table.

Quality of Food: 3.5/5
Service: 3.5/5
Overall Dining Experience: 3.5/5
Price: $

Address: 4557 Hurontario St, Mississauga, ON L4Z 3X3

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Pho Con Bo

Pho Con Bo is a Vietnamese restaurant located across from Sheridan Mall in North York, ON. The decor is not exactly their focal point but the restaurant itself was decently sized, and clean looking. Additionally, the affordability and the good food pretty much make up for their lack of service. The waitresses are not rude by any means; they just don't check up on you throughout the entire meal or really say anything (except bring the menus, take the order sheet and then bring out the food). Then again, Vietnamese restaurants are not exactly known for their great hospitality (not all of them though).

I usually like to try out new restaurants, but there are a few establishments where I am a regular customer, and Pho Con Bo is one of them. A majority of the dishes are under $10, so it is very budget friendly. 

The chao tom (grilled shrimp paste on sugar cane) ($4.00 for a small) ($8.00 for a large) is one of my favorite appetizers; besides the spring rolls. What is it? Chao tom is pretty much shrimp paste wrapped onto a piece of sugar cane, and then seasoned and grilled. The shrimp paste at Pho Con Bo was very flavorful as it was well-seasoned, and soft.

My usual order is #74 which is vermicelli with grilled beef, grilled pork and grilled chicken ($6.75). The dish has been consistent as I have ordered this same dish numerous times. The meat was perfectly grilled, and there was a good amount of meat in my bowl. The vermicelli tasted a lot better with the accompanied fish sauce (with pepper) which adds a tangy flavor to the noodles and meat.

Another dish that I have ordered is #75; vermicelli with grilled beef, grilled pork, shrimp on sugar cane, grilled meatballs, and spring rolls ($8.25). It is a good dish to order as it has a little bit of each item from the appetizer lists. The grilled meatballs are juicy and the spring rolls are crunchy.


Quality of Food: 4/5
Service: 2.9/5
Dining Experience: 3.5/5
Price: $

Address: 1625 Wilson Ave, Toronto, ON M3L 1A5

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Pho Xe Lua (Train)

If you're looking for authentic Vietnamese cuisine then Train (Xe Lua) isn't the place for it. However, it's an okay place to eat after a late night at the club, show, or the movies. It should be noted that the place can get quite busy post-clubbing on a Friday or Saturday night as it's one of the few restaurants that are open super late in Chinatown.

I have been to Train (Xe Lua) a few times after nights out with friends in the past few years. However, this review is based on a more recent dinner experience (about 2 months ago). The restaurant isn't that hard to miss with its bright red sign with a cartoonish train on it, and it's located on the upper level.

The minimalist decor and non-existent service isn't very appealing to first time customers. However, there are a few positives such as the prices are affordable, menu is rather extensive, and the food usually arrives out pretty quickly. Like I mentioned previously, don't expect to be warmly greeted by the employees here. It's basically a place for a quick bite to eat, hence its fast turnover rate.

The pork chop on rice with steamed egg ($7.50) arrived on a white plate with a good ration of rice and a thin slice of pork chop. The pork chop was sliced so thin, and too sweet for my taste buds. The meat did not taste like Vietnamese cuisine to me, but had a rather distinct Chinese flavor to it. I actually don't recommend this dish at all.

The minced shrimp on sugar cane (2 pieces) [#608] ($5.00) were rather small but tasted decent. 

My second half of the meal was the BBQ chicken, grill meatballs and spring rolls vermicelli [#316] ($8.00). I liked the BBQ chicken as it was grilled well and rather flavorful with a hint of lemongrass and fish sauce. However, I was not a fan of the spring roll. The texture was rather mushy instead of crispy and it came out cold.

The mango and durian milkshakes ($3.50 each) were surprisingly good. I really liked the fact that they made it fresh and the drinks weren't pre-made. My durian shake was full of flavor, and it didn't taste watered down at all. Xe Lua's milkshakes are on the top of my list whenever I'm craving for a cool drink.


Quality of Food: 3/5
Service: 3/5
Overall Dining Experience: 3/5
Price: $
Address: 254 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON, M5T 2C2

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Rua Vang Golden Turtle

Rua Vang Golden Turtle is a family-run Vietnamese restaurant located on Ossington Ave. Its popularity with the locals is pretty evident as it was packed on a Tuesday night. The turnover rate here is relatively high so it doesn't take too long to wait for a seat. 

Similar to any other Vietnamese joints; Rua Vang Golden Turtle has no-frills, and the decor is very minimal. Additionally, they are not exactly known for great hospitality. However, they do offer fast service, good portion sizes, and delicious authentic Vietnamese food at cost effective prices. The menu is pretty extensive and many items are priced under $10.00 per dish. 

I ordered #47 grilled pork & grilled chicken with steamed rice ($8.50). Both the pork and chicken are marinated with very sweet lemongrass and fish sauce, and grilled to perfection. I was happy with the generous portion as the meats was ample, and it was a filling meal.

My friend ordered the #98 bun bo hue ($8.50) which came in one size. Although I enjoyed my meal; my friend did not really enjoyed his. He thought that the broth was slightly flavorless and didn't have the spicy kick that is often found in bun bo hue. Additionally, there was no blood curds in his broth, something that he likes a lot.  


Quality of Food: 3.8/5
Service: 3/5
Overall Dining Experience: 3.5/5
Price: $

Address: 125 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J 2Z6

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Pho Tien Thanh

I was hungry one afternoon and wanted some Vietnamese food. I decided to check online for nearby Vietnamese restaurants and Pho Tien Thanh popped up in the results. The reviews on the restaurants are rather favorable so I decided to give it a try. 

Once I arrived; I realized how the decors were very minimal but the restaurant was completely packed with customers happily eating away. 

There was a long line up inside, and I didn't really want to wait for a table. So we decided to get some food for take-out.

I have read some good things about the pho here, but I didn't order it. Instead, I opted for the vermicelli with pork, beef, and chicken ($8.00). The portion of the meal was pretty substantial and the meats were thinly sliced, and lightly marinated. 

I also ordered two orders of spring rolls on the side (each order comes with 2 spring rolls for $4.00). I thought that the spring rolls were quite different from other Vietnamese joints. The ones here were really long and skinny (pictured below).


Quality of Food: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall Dining Experience: N/A
Price: $

Address: 57 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON, M6J 2Y9

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VIP Vietnamese Cuisine

VIP Vietnamese Cuisine is a Vietnamese restaurant located in the plaza of First Markham Place in Markham, ON. It should be noted that VIP Vietnamese Cuisine is Chinese owned and a majority of their customers are predominately Chinese so the menus are printed in English and Cantonese. If you are looking for authentic Vietnamese food, then this is not the place for it. 

The menu does offer an extensive list of dishes ranging from soup, rice, meat and noodles. I ordered an appetizer, drink and a main noodle dish as my meal.

The durian milk shake ($4.00) was horrible and tasteless. I took two sips and couldn't finish the rest of the drink. The drink was completely watered down; to the point of where I could barely taste the flavor of the durian. It was a complete waste but I honestly couldn't finish it.

I also ordered spring rolls ($5.00) as an appetizer, and it came with two pieces. The size of the spring rolls was average, and it tasted okay despite being a little burnt. 

My boyfriend ordered the medium beef pho ($6.00). I had a little taste of the pho and it lacked a lot of flavor. Although there was a decent amount of beef and tripe in the soup. 

I ordered the vermicelli with pork chop and chicken ($7.95) as my main dish. I thought that the portion was generous as there was a lot of meat. The pork chop and chicken were both decently grilled but the noodles were too hard that it just ruined the entire dish.

VIP Vietnamese Cuisine appears to be family oriented as many of the tables were large in size (fits about 4-6 people). The restaurant was decent in size and it had good lighting. Although, I did not like the food as much; I thought that the service was pretty decent as our waiter was attentive and not pushy.


Quality of Food: 2.6/5
Service: 3.5/5
Dining Experience: 2.9/5
Price: $

Address 3229 Hwy-7, Markham, ON, L3R3P3

V.I.P. Vietnamese Restaurant  on Urbanspoon

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