Showing posts with label Vietnamese. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vietnamese. Show all posts

Angus Pho House (Toronto) for delivery

Note: Prices in post are based on regular menu prices and may be higher when using delivery services

Trust me, your pho will taste a whole lot better if you take the time to re-heat the broth in a pot and add the noodles to the boiling broth to loosen everything before eating.

I learned this the hard way when getting Angus Pho House delivered to my place. Finding everything felt hot, I merely took the broth and added it to the Angus rare beef rice noodle soup ($9.95 for small) and tucked in. The noodles stuck together in a clump and the broth went from hot to lukewarm in no time. This is not how pho should be enjoyed.

A nuke in the microwave improved things a bit, yet it still wasn’t the same. Since we received such a large portion of noodles (with the small being so big, how can anyone get through a large?), I had enough for another meal the next day. After reheating the soup in a pot and adding the noodles (microwaved first) for a quick swirl, everything was so much more enjoyable.

Strangely, Angus Pho puts the rare beef into the hot broth instead of laying it onto the noodles when delivering. What arrives are very well-done pieces of lean meat. In the future, an order of plain pho noodles with a grilled protein seems like a better choice. If you really want shaved beef, I suggest opting for a brisket instead, which has a bit of fat to keep it moist.

The soup to noodle ratio is also off, there seems to be more noodles than when you dine in but only 70% of the broth so you can’t really drink big spoonful’s of the hearty savoury bone broth. Indeed, by the next day, there was only about a cup of soup left, I had to dilute it and add salt to stretch enough for another meal. Not a drop was wasted.

Surprisingly, the Vietnamese style spring rolls ($6.95) didn’t suffer through the delivery process. They were crispy and delicious, just a tad cooler than the scalding hot rolls you’d find at the restaurant. Angus’ moist fluffy filling of yellow beans and pork is so delicious. Unless you’re vegetarian or going gluten-free, these are a must add-on.

While Angus Pho provides a sizeable bag of bean sprouts and Thai basil, my body was craving vegetables so an order of Chinese greens with oyster sauce ($6.95) was necessary. The menu describes these as being stir-fried but it’s actually plain boiled gai lan. Luckily, we also ordered stir-fried Chinese greens with garlic sauce ($11.95) and since these were fairly salty and saucy, we could add the plain gai lan into the dish to calm everything down.  

Let’s be honest, pho just isn’t the same when delivered. But with a bit of effort, it’s still something that can be enjoyed at home, even with the diluted broth.

Overall mark - 7 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 5443 Yonge Street
 Delivery: Uber and Skip the Dishes
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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never order again
  • 6 - decent for delivery and takeout, but there's better
  • 7 - this is good, for delivery and takeout
  • 8 - great for delivery and takeout, it's almost like you're in a restaurant
  • 9 -  wow, it's like I'm eating at a restaurant
  • 10 - I'd happily order this for delivery or takeout instead of dining in any day!


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Pho V Express (Toronto)


Walking along Avenue on a piercingly cold day, seeing Pho V Express was like seeing a water mirage in the desert. While it’s definitely new to the area, stepping through the doors I couldn’t help but get a sense of déjà vu. There’s colourful blue and green lanterns hanging by the window, rich dark high top tables, and décor hanging on the walls that’s generally not found at pho places. Yet, I felt like I’ve seen the set-up before.


It wasn’t until the owner launched into a lengthy monologue explaining Pho V Express only uses organic meats (while striving to do the same with vegetables) and non-MSG broth that I remember why I’ve heard it before. Glancing down at the logo on the sticker holding together the chopsticks it finally clicked - this is the second location of Pho Vistro.

It’s confusing why they decided to change the name for their uptown location - Pho Vistro actually sounds better and seems to be a better fit with the neighbourhood. Also, to be an “express” version of the original, things need to be faster. From my experience, the service speed was exactly the same.


Regardless, the hot bowl of noodles hit the spot. Maybe it had something to do with the frigid temperatures, but the classic beef pho ($11.50) was tastier than I remember: the broth richer and more seasoned. Compared to other establishments, it certainly tastes healthier. The soup doesn’t merely rely on bone broth, rather also contains star anise and cinnamon that gives off such a lovely aroma. The soup is so flavourful that I didn’t even need siracha sauce; after using a small dollop at the start, I refrained from adding more as I found took away from the broth’s natural flavours. 


Their beef is also leaner. A combination of brisket and rib-eye round, the brisket goes really well with the noodles but the round is shaved so thinly that it breaks apart and tastes grainy, especially when you near to bottom half of the bowl (the granules in the soup is a bit off putting). In the future, I’ll have to remember to ask if I can only get brisket.

Another ingredient that will take some getting used to, is the spindly Ontario bean sprouts. Whereas sprouts in other restaurants are added for a textual element, these lack crunch and taste a lot like alfalfa sprouts giving a slightly bitter grassiness to the pho.


The fried chicken spring rolls ($5.50) contained a lot of colourful thinly grated vegetables but minimal chicken. The lack of meat isn’t a problem for me, but the addition of mung beans gave the otherwise delicious roll a slightly mushy and coarse texture that you don’t normally expect when biting into a spring roll. Be warned.


Pho V Express is a good option for vegans as their rolls and most of the noodle dishes are offered with a vegan preparation. And it’s sort of nice to leave the restaurant feeling warm, full, and feel like you’ve enjoyed something healthy. 

Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 1923 Avenue Road

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


Is That It? I Want More!

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Pho Vistro (Toronto)


Somehow when you hear the tranquil Green Sleeves playing while perched on the high top table, you know Pho Vistro does things differently. The dining room is a step up from the no-frills sparse tables where the condiments are centerpieces. Their menu to the point; there’s no spiraling notebook where the combination of proteins and offal is dizzying.

Pho Vistro focuses on pho – chicken, beef or vegan – either served in soup or dried form. There are also a few appetizers: the Vietnamese-style ribs ($6) arrives in singular form - a huge hunk of beef glazed with sweet hoisin that's tender with a bit of bite. It's just difficult to share so get one for yourself.


Their lunch special ($12) is a decent portion, consisting of a bowl of pho and spring roll (or and imperial roll for a healthier non-fried version). Unlike other restaurants that relies heavily on mung bean noodles or yellow beans, Pho Vistro’s roll contains plenty of finely slivered vegetables so you taste more than just crisp dough and starch.


Their soup contains no MSG and instead relies on boiling bones and herbs for over a day to develop its flavour. On the first sip, I could taste the difference – the broth seemed bland, but the flavours slowly built on the tongue. It’s atypical since the soup relies more on spices than salt. Without the MSG, many reviewers claim they weren’t thirsty afterwards; maybe it's the hoisin or sriracha, but I still downed a full bottle.


The noodles are cooked well, but the portion really skimpy. Typically, I order a small bowl at other restaurants and even I was left wanting more (extra noodles is definitely required). Their beef arrives in large thin slices and was really lean and healthy. However, the organic bean sprouts takes some getting used to as they’re rather shriveled and the concentrated flavour tastes similar to alfalfa sprout.  


I appreciate the healthy spin of Pho Vistro, but admittedly miss the fulsome rich salty beefiness of traditional pho. It’s good, just different. Let the evolution begin.

Overall mark - 7 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 259 King Street West

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


Is That It? I Want More!

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Pho Vistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato