It was around two in the afternoon when Chris, Jo and I were trying to decide what to have for lunch. It was negative sixteen degrees with wind chill, so when Jo suggested pho, we all agreed it was a great choice. We ended up at Pho Pasteur, one of their favourite pho spots.This little no-frills restaurant is located on Dundas, just west of Spadina. It’s open 24 hours, so I bet it’s popular with the late-night post-clubbing crowd on the weekends.
Shortly after being seated, we were brought menus and an order form that we fill out ourselves (typical of a pho restaurant).
Whenever I have pho, I always go for the same thing, the Beef Rice Noodle with Tendon. At Pho Pasteur, their pho comes in three sizes – small ($7.99), medium ($8.75) and large ($9.75). I went with the small. What really surprised me when I first opened the menu was the price! The prices are higher than what I’m used to, especially given that the restaurant is located in Chinatown where there are plenty of good, cheap eats.Having said that, they were quite generous with the rare beef and tendon. As for the broth, it had a rich flavour which wasn’t too salty. And I’m certainly not a pho connoisseur, but I thought this broth was damn tasty! The pho comes topped with raw onions, green onions and cilantro and we were provided with the standard plate of bean sprouts, basil and lime wedges. The sprouts here were fresh and added a nice bit of texture to my noodles.
Chris and Jo both went with the Chicken Rice Noodle Soup ($8.75 – medium). I didn’t try any of it but they assured me it was delicious. They come here often and always order this, so it must be good!I usually order the Vietnamese Coffee – with condensed milk and ice when I’m at a Vietnamese restaurant but it was negative sixteen degrees with wind chill outside. However, when I heard Chris ordering it, I couldn’t resist. What’s different about Vietnamese coffee is that it’s individually brewed using a small filter which drips into a glass containing sweetened condensed milk. Once it’s finished brewing, you add the ice to make it an iced coffee. Delicious!
Only after ordering it, did I noticed the price on the menu: $5.50. For only a tiny bit of coffee, I found the price to be rather steep. Sure, it tasted good but it didn’t taste any different from the coffee’s I’ve had at other Vietnamese restaurants for a lower price.
So, what’s the verdict? Sure, the prices are on the high side but their pho is delicious!
At a glance:
• Prices are high ($8-10) for a bowl of pho
• But they’re generous with the meat and the broth is delicious
• Open 24 hours
• Cash only
• Located in the heart of Chinatown
Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 4.5 stars
• Service: 2 stars
• Atmosphere: 1 star