Pho Tan

Yesterday was the second day of immersing Penguin in the wonders of animated movie magic. The previous hangout we watched How to Train Your Dragon and Despicable Me. This time we watched How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Kung Fu Panda. Having discovered that he hasn’t seen most of the popular moving pictures, I couldn’t let him go without showing him some of my favourites. (Yes, I’m a child ūüôā I could probably watch these over and over again and not tire of them. After “Netflix and chill” in the most literal terms, Penguin and I were both hungry, so he suggested we go for Pho before we head off to UBC for badminton drop ins. Or so that was the plan. The gym for badminton was full so we ended up derping around with some ping pong instead.

Pho Tan is a small restaurant, but we went for an early dinner so they had seats for us right away. After briefly skimming over the menu, Penguin got the #7 rare beef pho and I settled for the #8 rare beef and brisket pho (S $7.00).

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Our pho came with the standard side of bean sprouts, basil and lime wedge. Our food came literally just minutes after we ordered. The thin slices of brisket had a nice lean to fatty ratio and both cuts of meat were tender and fresh.¬†The noodles were cooked right and the broth was flavourful, It had little to no msg so it didn’t leave me reaching for water. Overall, it was a good bowl of pho, and the small was the perfect portion for me.

Penguin and I took our time and got carried away with conversation, so it took me even longer than usual to finish eating. Curious, I had to ask Penguin whether he was deliberately eating slower so I woudn’t feel awkward because he was eating pretty slow himself. He was obviously¬†pacing himself. Lol. Sorry, Penguin! Shortly after we finished, our waitress had asked us for the table back as the restaurant began to fill up quickly. Having some time to kill before badminton drop ins, we frolicked off to DQ for ice cream, because why not!? We both agreed that there’s always room for dessert. Desserts aren’t even a question. I love hanging out people who share the same thought as me (: <
 

Pho Tan's Vietnamese Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

PHO TAN
+1 604 606 0688
Kerrisdale
2076 West 41st Avenue, Vancouver

Au Petit Café

I had to go to the clinic, and my family doctor’s office is all the way in West Broadway, so I took this as a chance to visit Au Petit Cafe since it’s¬†around the same general area. As the name reads, this busy Vietnamese cafe is quite petite indeed. There’s probably only seating for about 15-20 people in the whole restaurant. so be prepared to¬†line up outside if you go during peak hours.¬†

IMG_1701My party of 4 was seated after a 15 minute wait at around 1:15pm on a rainy Monday afternoon.

I started off with a dark¬†french iced coffee with condensed milk/Vietnamese coffee¬†($4.00). I didn’t always like coffee, but It’s kind of growing on me. I’ve begun to appreciate the taste of bitterness, or at least to tolerate it. My tastebuds are just under continual evolution. The coffee was very strong with a subtle sweet undertone from the condensed milk.¬†The size of the coffee could’ve been a bit bigger considering the price though.¬†I’ve been sick for the past week and all the sleepless nights have been adding up, but this got me through the day.

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Me, Mamallama, Totoro and friend ordered the Vietnamese spring rolls ($8.25) to share. These were served piping hot with fish sauce on the side for dipping. The shell of the spring roll was very different from what we’re used to, but it was a pleasant change. It was crunchy, but it also had a little bit of a chew to it. The filling was well seasoned and had a nice ratio of ground pork to vegetables. I also liked that they weren’t greasy.

IMG_1717We also got the shrimp salad rolls¬†($7.50) to share. These were served with a peanut hoisin sauce. While there’s a stark difference between good and bad salad rolls,¬†I feel like there’s a ceiling to how great a salad roll can get. I just don’t see salad rolls blowing people’s socks off. Nevertheless, these were pretty good. Everything was as it should be. The ingredients were fresh, and tightly wrapped so it stayed together until the last bite.

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The bahn mi subs are what Au Petit’s known for, it’s what keeps me coming back. I always get the french bread sub with homemade ham, house meatball and vegetables¬†($5.25) with optional jalape√Īo peppers. Their¬†bread is always baked fresh daily- crispy on the outside, very soft on the inside. ¬†I’ve never really been a fan of the rubbery texture of vietnamese ham, but I actually liked them in the sub. The meatballs were soft,¬†moist and flavourful and accented perfectly with the pickled carrots and cucumber, I had gotten mine with the hot peppers, but they were too spicy for me, so I ended up picking them out.

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Mamallama and Totoro felt like something soupy, so they ordered the BBQ lemon grass boneless chicken and rice noodle in soup ($9.25). The noodle soup was very comforting on a cold, rainy day, it warmed us right up. The broth had deep flavours, it had a subtle sweetness to it and it had just the right amount of sodium. They were also pretty generous with the lemon grass chicken, which was juicy and tender.

After lunch, we immediately started planning our next meal. We decided It was the perfect day for hotpot. It’s nice being able to look forward to returning home after work with food, family and friends waiting for me.

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AU PETIT CAFE
+1 (604) 873-3328
Riley Park & Little Mountain
4851 Main Street, Vancouver

Thai Son Restaurant

Baby-Paca has been suggesting that we go for Pho for the longest time, but I just have not been feeling Pho lately. On this day however, I woke up feeling slightly under the weather. Something warm, soupy and comforting sounded like a good idea. Pho 99 is usually our go-to Pho spot, but we decided to go to Thai Son this time since we wanted to grocery shop at T&T afterwards.

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Spring roll ($5.75): the spring roll had ground pork and vegetables densely packed inside. While it was crispy and tasty with the fish sauce, It definitely tasted a lot more like a Chinese style spring roll than a Vietnamese style spring roll. Take away the sauce, and it would be something straight out of a dim sum restaurant. Definitely not what we were expecting at a Vietnamese place at all.
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#10 Sliced rare beef, well done beef brisket and tripe with rice noodle and soup ($6.75): The noodles were good and the broth wasn’t too salty.¬†The well done beef brisket was¬†flavourful and tender, however, Baby-Paca thought that the sliced rare beef didn’t taste very fresh. And like most other Pho places, they aways only give little shreds of tripe, which was barely enough to split between the 2 of us. Other than the tripe, everything else was plentiful. The spring rolls and a small Pho to share was enough to fill us up.

Baby-Paca said that she still prefers Pho 99 over Thai Son as their Pho soup is more flavourful. Service was quick, and our food arrived literally like 5 minutes after we ordered. My only complaint is that some of their spoons and chopsticks were dirty and we had to sift through the stash on the table to find ones that looked relatively more clean.

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THAI SON RESTAURANT
+1 604 255 6436
Hastings-Sunrise
230-2800 East 1st Avenue, Vancouver