Truong Thanh Vietnamese Restaurant
Truong Thanh is a small hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese restaurant on Kingsway – but then, aren’t most Vietnamese restaurants small hole-in-the-wall joints? I’ve heard that this place is open 24 hours but I’m not sure because their take out menu says they’re open 9am to midnight Sun-Thurs and 9am-4am Fri-Sat.
We received a last-minute invite from our nephew for Saturday morning Vietnamese food and I wound up ordering the Pho Tai (Rare Beef Noodle Soup for $6.95). The soup was pretty flavourful (especially after the addition of the fresh lime wedges). I was a bit disappointed with the beef however because this was far from rare – it was more like well done and a bit chewy. There was quite a bit of beef – maybe they took too long to bring out the soup - but considering the restaurant was rather empty, I’m not sure how they can pass this off as rare beef.
I did take a bite out of the red hot chili pepper and it wasn’t too bad – but then I put the chili pepper in the soup and I guess all of the chili oil and seeds released their spiciness into the soup because it turned the pho into a super-molten-hot-lava-pho that could strip the paint off a barn wall.
The Bun Thit Nuong, Nem Nuong, Chao Tom ($8.50) contains grilled pork, prawns supreme on sugarcane, and sliced pork sausage on vermicelli along with a small salad of lettuce, carrots and daikon. This dish was pretty good – I’m always a fan of prawns supreme on sugarcane and how can you go wrong with grilled pork?
Speaking of grilled pork, I also tried a Banh Mi Thit Nuong ($3.50) which is a Vietnamese sub with grilled pork, shredded lettuce, carrots and daikon. This was a rather good sandwich but it could have used more pickled daikon as I missed the tart crunch. The bread was nice and crusty on the outside but probably not as good as Kim Chau Deli or Tung Hing Bakery that are further down Kingsway.
There was a couple of times when we tried to flag her down for our bill, but she was busy helping the 2 other tables in the restaurant and rushed right past us.
Like many Vietnamese restaurants, a collection of utensils and condiments is kept at each table for use. In some respects, I think that this is really efficient because we don’t need to try and flag down a waitress if we happen to drop a chopstick.
At the same time, I also worry that some kid’s been playing with all of the chopsticks (as any kid would) and then puts the boogered/fallen-on-the-floor/germ-ridden chopsticks back into the container.
If you decide to come here, make sure you bring some warm clothing because it was freezing in here when we stopped by… everyone in the restaurant was still wearing their full winter jackets throughout their entire meal. It’s a good thing the pho was piping hot and the red hot chili pepper was so spicy because it helped to keep me warm.
Food: 3.5 / 5
Service: 2.5 / 5