okay. here's my take on dinner at dong thanh tonight. unfortunately, my friends were stuck in traffic and we didn't get there until 7:30 (they like to close at 8).
goi cuon (springrolls): i'd say this was okay. not the best. my friends were fascinated by the rice paper. but actually, it was more on the chewy side. shouldn't have dried out that quickly though. hmmm... the tuong (sauce) was good. i kinda prefer ba le's though.
i ordered eggrolls but never got it....turns out i was billed for it too. oh well, i'll have my mother do the complaining next time she's there. the owner's going to remember! i had called first to check on closing time and parking. he recognized my awkward accent when i ordered. one way or another, i'm getting those eggrolls i paid for!!!
banh xeo: i think it was okay. first thing i notice was that the curry powder was pretty strong. usually it's turmeric powder but it didn't seem like it for some reason. filling was a bit on the charred side. i think dong ky serves a slightly better version though.
against my advice, my friends ordered soup noodles. one ordered the mi vit (duck with egg noodles). she didn't like it. was a bit weirded out to find cooked lettuce in her bowl. from my side of the table, didn't look that great.
the other ordered pho. not sure if it was to be 'bo tai' or not, but it looked pretty well done. didn't put in much hoisin or hot sauce. he was satisfied with his bowl. i even caught him taking in a couple of spoonful of the broth. eh.
i was determined to find pho xao tonight. i asked the owner if he served it. he said yeah and pointed to hu tieu xao instead. but i asked him again if it was pho or hu tieu xao. said that they make pho xao. so that's what i thought i would be getting.....nope! i got hu tieu xao bo. i usually love this dish from dong thanh cuz it's something they do consistently well, but it wasn't what i had in mind when i ordered. :(
reason why we chose dong thanh: raw egg/milk/club soda drink. tonight, both of my friends were fascinated by this. it wasn't like that great, but apparently, it had a familiar taste. they kept trying to figure out what it reminded them off. eggnog? no. custard? nope. at the end, we narrowed it down to two possibility. vietnamese coffee without the coffee? or thai iced tea? still not 100% sure. anyone with any suggestions, please let me know.
overall, i'd give dong thanh a 7. i think it's more of a 6 but the extra 1 point is for the exceptional hu tieu xao bo....(even though that's not what i ordered).