Featured image: Bun bo Hue @ Pho Tuan
One of the first things I noticed about Ottawa’s Chinatown was the immense number Vietnamese restaurants. We might as well rename it “Vietnamese town”. It seems that on every block there is at least one, if not more, Vietnamese restaurant. It can get confusing since most seem to have the words pho, bo and ga in it. Which literally means noodles, beef and chicken.
From way back to our early dating days, Aaron has always had a favourite. It is located not on the crowded main street of Somerset but as a stand alone on the side street of Booth. From back to its Pho’licious days to now that it has a new owner and renamed Pho Tuan, we often think about this spot when we’re thinking of having a nice hot bowl of noodle soup. Unfortunately for them, we often don’t see many other guests in the restaurant. I feel that their food is comparable, if not better than the other nearby Vietnamese restaurants. Could it be because their location is not as visible as those proudly displaying their signs on Somerset? As a customer, it is nice that they are not too busy, since their service is usually very fast and they tend to be more friendly to us as their frequent customers.
My favourite dish to get here is the bun bo Hue – the spicy Hue-style beef noodle soup. They definitely get a thumbs up for this because this dish is not on the menu of all Vietnamese restaurants. Their take on it is not the most traditional, as they are missing the pork blood but I actually prefer it this way. Also unique to this restaurant is the fact they serve both the spring rolls using the pastry paper as well as with the rice paper. This way you have a choice, depending on your preference! (I personally prefer the pastry paper but Aaron likes the rice paper.) They also have dishes that I have not seen often in other restaurants to satisfy all your Vietnamese food cravings. For example, they serve bo la lot (beef wrapped with betel leaf), bun cha (grilled pork patties served with veggies and vermicelli) and bo kho (beef stew served with noodles of your choice). Their bun cha is actually not that bad and pretty authentic. The bo kho is a little too fatty for me.
So if you’re looking to try some new Vietnamese dishes or to just try another take on your favourite dishes, why not pay a visit to Pho Tuan?
For more information: http://www.photuanottawa.com/