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Pho Xpress

Happy New Year’s Eve people!

All the way in Leduc is the next review and last review of 2012!  Pho Xpress (5411 Discovery Way), situated on the furthest north end of Leduc Common by the Swiss Chalet just in case you’re like me and don’t know your way around the area.

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I ordered the ‘Satay Beef Noodle‘ for $10.95.  The food comes out in a shallow but somewhat wide bowl, first impressions was that this I’ve gotten a very small portion, especially for the price.  There’s a little more food than meets the eye, but overall it is still a small portion for the price.  The soup is a cloudy, pale orange colour and is joined with cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, onion slices and lots of green onions.  There’s a slight interesting scent to the soup, a kind of sour smell but not too strong.  The flavour is overly plain, there’s just a little smack of savouriness in the soup but overall it is horribly bland.  I have no idea what they use to make dish specifically Satay, but whatever they use it steals the flavour like adding water to soup; the only time there was any taste was when my scoop of soup had onion on it.  I had to add more Sriracha just to get a bit of flavour out of this meal, also, with all that Sriracha I added, the soup wasn’t spicy at all.  There was about an average amount of noodle but it’s a little skimpy on the beef.  Overall, this is quite the disappointment, from the price, the portion and the flavour, this is not a good Satay Beef Noodle Soup.

Review

Broth: 1.5/5   Portion: 1.5/5   Overall Taste: 1/5   Value: 1/5

Overall Satisfaction: 1.5/5

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Pho Xpress Ltd on Urbanspoon

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Arc En Ciel

Merry Christmas Eve everyone!

My second last review of the year is at Arc En Ciel Restaurant near the north T&T Supermarket (9316 137 Ave).  For those who are wondering about the name, ‘arc en ciel’ is French for ‘rainbow’.  Now why would a Vietnamese restaurant have a French name?  Well, long ago when Napoleon the Third (nephew of the Napoleon Bonaparte that we all know) was in power of the French Empire, his orders to his army were to invade Vietnam and set up a French colony.  Over the years under French occupation, the Vietnamese people were influenced by many different things French, including food.  One of the latest food trends that I’m noticing popping up nowadays is ‘bahn mi’ which essentially means ‘bread’ in Vietnamese.  Bahn mi is 100% a product of French influence in Vietnam.  I can remember seeing lots of French style baguettes in Vietnam, which years of having nothing but Chinese food in Edmonton seemed to be a totally weird sight to see, but I guess I was just ignorant.  So, when you see a Vietnamese restaurant with a French name, it stems mainly from the many years of French influence throughout history.  I have more to say on the subject, but for now, let’s see what’s for dinner.

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Arc En Ciel is a bit of an odd ball restaurant, the restaurant is set up kind of like a fast food Chinese takeout place, like Wok ‘N Go for those who have been there before.  But there are 5 small tables for people to stay in a very cramped amount of space.  The restaurant is not well equipped for lots of people staying to eat, but judging from the set up and the menu, they’re more about quick and easy takeout food.

On to the food now, Arc En Ciel has ‘Satay Beef with Rice Noodle Soup‘ for $9.75.  The soup is a yellowish brown with a really delicious scent, I can’t put my finger on all the ground spices in it, but it culminates to make a really inviting scent.  The soup is accompanied with diced tomatoes, cucumber, white and green onion slices.  The broth starts off with a nicely salty flavour with a slight kick but as you get into it more, the soup becomes quite spicy but maintains the same nice flavour.  Unfortunately, the meal is quite lacking in the amount of noodles and beef given, you will be left with a lot of broth at the end of the meal.  For the price, the bowl isn’t that big so it’s not the best bang for your buck here, but the food tastes pretty good here.

Review

Broth: 3/5   Portion: 2/5   Overall Taste: 3.5/5   Value: 2/5

Overall Satisfaction: 3/5

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Arc En Ciel Fusion Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Thanh Da

Good news everyone, another Monday review!

I am running out of places to review, I have reviewed 46 restaurants out of a possible 100 or so Vietnamese restaurants as not every Vietnamese restaurant has Satay Beef Noodle Soup, or they classify themselves as Vietnamese but they’re really Chinese restaurants with one or two Vietnamese items like Spring Rolls or something.  I have one more restaurant in queue that I know for sure has Satay Beef Noodle Soup and pretty much after that, I think I’m done!  Unless my fellow fans know of a place that I don’t, then please comment and tell me where this place is!

This week, I went to Thanh Da Restaurant on 12924 – 97 Street, an area that for some reason has 3 Vietnamese restaurants really close to each other; Pho Song Huong and Pho 97 which are across the street from Thanh Da.  I confirmed that Pho Song Huong doesn’t have Satay Beef Noodle Soup, but I still have to take a peek into Pho 97 if they have any.

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Thanh Da is a seemingly authentic Vietnamese restaurant judging by their menu.  There’s a little spiel on the first page of the menu that has tells the story behind their name.  On the menu there’s ‘Hot Spicy Beef Sate Noodle Soup‘ for $9.50.  The meal comes out piping hot in a pretty sizable bowl which is perfect amount of food for the price in my opinion.  The pale brown soup contains tomatoes, cucumbers, red and green onion slices and a scoop of peanuts on top.  There’s a light beefy flavour that’s accompanied with an earthy spice in it, it’s reminiscent of the Satay flavouring used in Chinese restaurants for their fried noodles.  The meal is not spicy at all, for those who are worried about the ‘Hot Spicy’ portion in the name need not worry.  The soup to solids ratio is wholly in favour of the soup, there’s quite a bit of soup to the meal which drowns the noodles, beef and veggies.  Overall, the meal is decent tasting and really filling with lots of soup, it would be perfect for a cold Edmonton winter.

Review

Broth: 3/5   Portion: 3.5/5   Overall Taste: 2.5/5   Value: 3.5/5

Overall Satisfaction: 3/5

WonderPho_smile

Thanh Da Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Pho Kim

Hello boys and girls!

For all my Jewish friends, Happy (3rd day of) Hanukkah!  I was very lucky on my first Hanukkah and received a home cotton candy maker.  Tested it out the first night and it was fantastic, sugary goodness!  Next up is Pho Kim on 6655 178 Street out in Callingwood.

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Pho Kim is in a nice convenient complex consisting of many different cuisines of food in a small area, and from reading on Urbanspoon, a lot of these restaurants are pretty decent, time to try out how the Vietnamese food is in this area.  Here they serve ‘Satay Rice Noodle Soup with Beef’ for $9.95 plus $1.50 for extra large.  The broth is a cloudy pale brown drizzled with rich orangey chili oil.  Within the soup there’s lettuce strips, tomatoes, cucumbers and green and white onion slices.  The broth is very rich tasting with savoriness, there’s a smack of sweet coconut milk flavour throughout the soup and it’s not spicy at all.  There’s a lot of very soft, somewhat overcooked noodles and a lacking of chewy beef pieces.  There is a lot of food for the extra large size and the bowl is very deep which causes some problems near the end of the meal as it gets hard to scoop out the broth.  Overall, the meal at Pho Kim is pretty good and well worth a visit, their Satay Beef Noodle Soup is well made and worth of trying.

Review

Broth: 3.5/5   Portion: 3.5/5   Overall Taste: 3.5/5   Value: 3/5

Overall Satisfaction: 3.5/5

Pho Kim Long Authentic Vietnamese Noodle House on Urbanspoon

CoDo Hue

Hello everybody!

I finally hit up CoDo Hue out on 12819 140 Ave.  This restaurant was an early suggestion but I kept putting it on the backburner since it’s on the complete opposite side of town for me.  Unfortunately, they close on Tuesdays which is inconvenient because I’m usually on the northside for guitar lessons.

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“This note here is an G chord, not ‘sound like shit’ chord.”

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Here they serve ‘Sate Beef Rice Noodle Soup‘ for $9.95.  When the food comes out, I remember something that someone mentioned on Urbanspoon saying that the cook at CoDo Hue used to be from Trang Tien as well.  For those who are just joining us now, I’m not the biggest fan of the Satay Beef Noodle Soup they make.  The same milky curd-like pieces show up in the meal but this time around they are a lot more dissipated than when I first got it in Trang Tien as Ngu Binh as well.  The soup tastes like standard pho broth with a slight liquorice taste to the soup, could possibly be from using star anise to spice the soup.  After having this similar meal three times, I still can’t put my finger on what the milky curds really are.  There’s a decent amount of el dente rice noodles with the meal and the difference from the other two similar places is that this meal is a notch spicier.  Still not impressed with this version of Satay Beef Noodle Soup.

Review

Broth: 2/5   Portion: 2.5/5   Overall Taste: 2.5/5   Value: 2.5/5

Overall Satisfaction: 2/5

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I’m lazy this week so I’ll use Tard the Grumpy cat to express how I feel about this weeks meal.

CoDo Hue on Urbanspoon

Good Buddy Restaurant (Northgate)

‘Sup everybody!  Coming up next, another fabulous restaurant review.  This time it’s Good Buddy Restaurant, there’s various locations throughout Edmonton and a new location in Sherwood Park.  I checked out the one attached to Northgate Mall (if you can call it a mall) on 1018 – 9499 137 Ave.  Good Buddy is actually a full blooded Chinese restaurant who wears their 2010 Top 100 Local Favorite Chinese Restaurant by the Chinese Restaurant News award on it’s sleeve.  I’m not too sure how big of a deal this is but looking on the website, it’s seems to be somewhat prestigious.

When I first came here, I was originally looking for Chinese noodles but much to my surprise, there was also ‘Satay Beef Noodle Soup‘ for $7.59.  I didn’t fully know what to expect but here’s what I got.  The meal comes out in a decent sized bowl, there isn’t any bean sprouts or limes with this meal because what I ended up getting was more a Chinese style noodle soup dish than a Vietnamese style, difference being wonton noodles instead of rice noodles, a chicken broth (loaded with MSG and salt) rather than beef broth, overall it’s very different from the what I’d expect in a Vietnamese restaurant.  Anyways, here’s what I thought.  The meal comes with onion slices, carrots, green peppers and chewy beef pieces that I believe were all stir-fried in a wok together with ‘Satay seasoning’ then added to a hearty bowl of wonton noodles and chicken broth.  The soup turns a brownish colour due to the stir-fried component of the meal.  The flavour is salty with a bit of earthiness to it, whatever they used for their ‘Satay seasoning’ is bringing on this flavour, I do have a feeling there is an overuse of MSG in the soup and probably the stir-fried portion.  It’s easy to tell when you have something soupy but find yourself very thirsty after the meal.  So, I made the mistake of thinking that they served the Vietnamese style noodle soup in a Chinese restaurant but overall, you do get a very generous portion of food for the price and it’s pretty darn tasty too.  If you haven’t tried the noodle soups in some of the Chinese noodle shops in Edmonton, Good Buddy serves a pretty decent one.

Broth: 2/5*   Portion: 3.5/5   Overall Taste: 2/5*   Value: 4/5

Overall Satisfaction: 3.5/5*

Hope you’re not as confused as I am!

*Review is skewed because its not really Vietnamese style, but it is very tasty*

Good Buddy Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Tasty Vietnamese

Hello folks!  Finally took another visit out to Spruce Grove to hit up the other Vietnamese restaurant in town, Tasty Vietnamese (Unit 122, 636 King St).  Found on the opposite end of King Street opposed to the other Vietnamese restaurant, Thang Long.  If I were to compare the Vietnamese restaurants in Spruce just on first impressions, Tasty Vietnamese would take it.  The seemingly new restaurant is clean and well decorated while Thang Long looks like an old Chinese restaurant in Chinatown, but that’s not what matters here, how does the food stack up?

As usual, I got the ‘Satay Beef Noodle Soup‘ for $9.50.  The reddish brown broth is accompanied with green and white onion slices, lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes.  There is an incredibly vinegary and familiar smell wafting from the broth.  As it turns out, the smell is carried out in the flavour and then it finally comes to mind, Tabasco, the source of the smell and flavour is Tabasco.  For those who were wondering my scale of spiciness, I would consider Tabasco as hot but bearable.  So for those who think that Tabasco is really spicy, you might not be able to handle some of the other spicy dishes I’ve had previously.  Anyways, the main flavour of the broth is just Tabasco, near the bottom of the bowl there’s peanuts to be found which changes things up a bit for the better.  There’s an average amount of tender sliced beef and noodles.  Overall, a somewhat decent middle of the road effort but nothing spectacular.

 Review

Broth: 2.5/5   Portion: 3/5   Overall Taste: 2/5   Value: 3/5

Overall Satisfaction: 2.5/5

Tasty Vietnamese on Urbanspoon


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