For the record, I paid ‘Little Saigon’ my first visit years ago, when they first opened up next to T&T and Richmond Hill was a void for good Vietnamese Pho. Unfortunately, authenticity issues resulting from a mediocre, run-of-the-mill bowl of Pho, coupled with hearing Mandarin and not Vietnamese being spoken both in the kitchen and by front-of-house staff dissuaded my future return.
However, I was told that this current resurrected version of ‘Little Saigon’ is now a totally different entity. Newly renovated and operated by a pair of Vietnamese sisters with their two husbands. The cozy place is now brighter, cleaner and decor is more contemporary. The two female formed the core of the kitchen brigade whilst the two male work in the front-of-house.
Now, onto the food. The four of us ordered a spectrum of Pho variations. Regular with rare beef and brisket, house special that had added tendons, tripe and beef balls as well as a ‘Satay ‘ version of the rare beef and brisket option. We also augmented the Pho with an order of Vietnamese Spring Rolls.
Though the table top and side plate condiments of sauces and herbs were not as elaborate as some of their counterpart like ‘The Pho Restaurant ‘. However, this short fall was more than made up by the superb ‘ beefy, bony and buttery ‘ tasting broth. With a perfectly measured blend of spice and herb seasoning, the rich and complex, umami laden clear broth was way more delicious and much less greasy than ‘Pho Tai Bac’ just across the road. The meat quality was of a high standard, the brisket tender and flavorful. In addition, one essential criteria was impeccably met….and that is, the ‘rare’ beef remained pink and rare when the bowl arrived at the table! The Satay version was nice and creamy with a welcoming touch of fermented crustacean component added to the beefy broth. Very pleasurable tasting! The Spring roll, though a touch on the greasy side, uses traditional Vietnamese wrapper and filling. One of the best renditions I’ve eaten in the GTA. Even the anchovy fish dipping sauce was kicked up a notch!
This new found Pho place is now my hands-down favorite up north!