Pho Tan – Got Pho?
No, actually, I didn’t get pho. But I really wasn’t looking for pho on this day. Pho Tan has always caught my eye whenever I drive by it on Kingsway (mainly because it doesn’t look like a restaurant – it looks more like a little old house set back from the street). It reminds me of how the old Middlegate Mall (before it was turned into Highgate) was set back from Kingsway.
In keeping with the spirit of a pho-less pho restaurant review, the first item is a bubble-less honey dew bubble tea. Partly because they were out of tapioca bubbles but really because I wasn’t in the mood for bubbles… I just wanted something cold to drink. Nothing really special about it… they use crystals for the fruit flavours and it seemed a bit small compared with other bubble tea places.
You can’t go to a Vietnamese place without trying the Banh Mi. This was their House Special Sub and it was pretty good. The bread was nice and crunchy on the outside. I think I would have preferred if the pickled veggies were a little thicker-cut and a bit more mayo/sauce but otherwise, very good.
The Curry Beef Brisket on Rice is a little hard to see in the picture on the left. The picture on the right shows 1/2 of the dish and you can see that there’s lots of beef and potatoes in this dish. The beef brisket pieces were on the smaller side and they were very lean. Not too much of an issue to me… I don’t mind some fat, but some places serve pieces of fat with a few slivers of meat and call it brisket. It was pretty good… not too spicy but I think a little more fat on the brisket would have made this better.
Combo 85 had a little bit of everything so I had to try that. The satay beef skewer was interesting as the beef slices were wrapped around pieces of peppers and veggies. Underneath the satay beef was the vermicelli… it was kind of neat because unlike most vermicelli that I’ve had, it wasn’t just a clump of vermicelli… they had taken the vermicelli and cooked it in small layers and folded them neatly into little cloth-like square pieces. It made it a lot easier to pick up and eat. As usual, the prawn supreme comes on sugar cane skewers. The dish also comes with a deep fried spring roll and a prawn salad roll and a small julienned salad.
The food was pretty good and, in most cases, I would probably go back but there are a few things that discourage me… they only take cash (or debit) and I do worry about my foot going through one of the rickety stairs leading up to the restaurant.
Food: 3.5 / 5
Service: 3.5 / 5