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Toronto - Best Pho recommendations?

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b2lu Jul 22, 2009 08:50 AM

Hey guys/gals,

I just want to see what everyone's opinion on the best Pho, the viet noodle, in Toronto is. I'm talking specifically the 'rare beef noodle' pho. I've tried many restaurants in downtown Toronto like 88, or Train head, etc and they're not so great. Like some doesn't include enough veggies (or herbs), some gives really crappy beef, and some gives crappy noodles. As far as the soup goes, they're all pretty much the same to me.

So far, the only place I enjoy pho is at Finch and Midland (in Scarborough). I don't remember the name of it, but there is only one. The Cantonese pronunciation of the place is 'yune jok yuen'.

Anyways, let me know what you think!

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  1. Rabbit RE: b2lu Jul 22, 2009 09:05 AM

    Extensive discussion on pho here:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/336634

    1 Reply
    1. re: Rabbit
      b
      b2lu RE: Rabbit Jul 23, 2009 06:13 AM

      Sorry for starting a new one; just wanted a quick answer but seems like the discussion just continues =P

    2. g
      gastronom RE: b2lu Jul 22, 2009 10:31 AM

      in case you don't feel like reading through 154 posts, try Pho Hung on Spadina one block north of Dundas. It's the best by far. Golden Turtle is a close second on Ossignton.

      Pho 88 does not make a good Pho, their Bun is phenomenal however.

      6 Replies
      1. re: gastronom
        Charles Yu RE: gastronom Jul 22, 2009 03:30 PM

        IMO, Golden turtle is grossly over-rated. Just because Susur Lee used to frequent it during after hours or on his day offs does not guarantee food is always great! The broth of GT is no where near the dense and tasty version of Pho 66 on St Claire west at around Weston road. The noodles, the beef, briskets, beef balls etc as well as the condiments are all superior. Only complain is that the place is a bit run down. Pho Hung used to be my favourite as well until I discovered Pho66.

        1. re: Charles Yu
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          Yum2MyTum RE: Charles Yu Jul 22, 2009 03:32 PM

          Hi Charles. I have to agree with you about Golden Turtle. Tried it out twice, very disappointed. The broth wasn't complex, the meat was full of gristle.

          Any suggestion for somewhere downtown? St. Clair and Weston is far. What do you think of Pho Hung vs. Pho Tien Thanh on Ossington?

          1. re: Yum2MyTum
            aser RE: Yum2MyTum Jul 23, 2009 02:17 AM

            Tienh Thanh by a wide margin, it's top 5 in the city for me.

            Seriously though, for the OP, read the thread linked above.

            1. re: aser
              y
              Yum2MyTum RE: aser Jul 23, 2009 05:14 AM

              Thanks aser and Charles. I will have to try out both!

          2. re: Charles Yu
            haggisdragon RE: Charles Yu Jul 23, 2009 10:21 AM

            Just had lunch at Pho 66. Very good indeed. Sweet rich beefy broth, chewable noodles, I had rare beef and tendon with mine. The rare beef was not very rare, the tendon was thick silky and rich. Thanks for the heads up Charles Yu!

            1. re: haggisdragon
              Charles Yu RE: haggisdragon Jul 23, 2009 03:41 PM

              You are most welcome! Glad you enjoyed the food. Their fatty brisket was very good as well. Very flavourful!

        2. b
          borzecki RE: b2lu Jul 22, 2009 03:41 PM

          Are you talking about Schezuan legend(its the only chinese restaurant that i know of in the area that you're referring to)? Their pho dish doesn't contain any meat or veggies, but their noodles are drenched in their homemade chilli sauce which is spicy and super tasty!

          3 Replies
          1. re: borzecki
            Charles Yu RE: borzecki Jul 22, 2009 03:52 PM

            No!!!! Definitely not! Pho66 is a genuine Pho place run by a few ladies from Vietnam. As for the exact address, I need to grab their business card from my office. Will post tomorrow.

            Hi, Yum2MyTum! Prefer Pho Hung but noticed their quality wasn't as good as before. Too much popularity not necessarily a good thing?!

            1. re: Charles Yu
              Charles Yu RE: Charles Yu Jul 22, 2009 04:29 PM

              Pho 66 address is 1795 St Claire West ( corner of St, Claire and Old Weston Road )

              1. re: Charles Yu
                b
                b2lu RE: Charles Yu Jul 23, 2009 06:14 AM

                gah it's so far... but someday i'll try it out~ thanks for the address

          2. c
            clamnectar RE: b2lu Jul 22, 2009 06:34 PM

            On the persuasive power of the numerous votes for Pho Hung, I had a bowl there this afternoon for the first time. The broth was very watery, although the quality and quantity of the meat was pretty good. But for me it's all about the broth, and I would give Pho Hung a C+.

            9 Replies
            1. re: clamnectar
              Wahooty RE: clamnectar Jul 22, 2009 06:41 PM

              Next time, go around the corner to Pho Pasteur, on Dundas west of Spadina. The broth is definitely not watery there. I prefer it to Pho Hung if we're limiting ourselves to Chinatown.

              1. re: Wahooty
                jennjen18 RE: Wahooty Jul 22, 2009 07:10 PM

                Pho Pasteur (PP) could be so different at times... the last time I went, their noodles were too overcooked. Ugh. When I tried to pick them up with my chopsticks, they all fell apart. How annoying.

                1. re: jennjen18
                  Wahooty RE: jennjen18 Jul 22, 2009 07:53 PM

                  That's disappointing, but not really surprising - consistency isn't their strongest suit. But one of the reasons I like them is that their noodles usually still have some bite to them - I've never gotten soggy ones. Haven't been in a few weeks, though. However, even on an off day, I'll still take them over Pho Hung. I don't get why people rave about them so much - I just don't think PH is anything special.

                  1. re: Wahooty
                    Charles Yu RE: Wahooty Jul 22, 2009 08:06 PM

                    Foe Pho Hung, I noticed a distinct difference in the quality of the broth between lunch and dinner. Lunch was great but dinner was watery. May be the kitchen dilutes the broth when business gets too brisk?

                    1. re: Charles Yu
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                      b2lu RE: Charles Yu Jul 23, 2009 06:16 AM

                      So it looks like there are no good pho places uptown? or you guys just live down south so haven't had the chance to try places up north?

                      1. re: b2lu
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                        cat RE: b2lu Jul 23, 2009 06:28 AM

                        i like Pho Dau Bo - the mississauga location or north york location: 2437 Finch Avenue West, North York. The broth has strong beef flavour, not watery!

                        I also like Pho Viet because its close to home (Warden and Steeles)- the broth is quite good, they soemtimes have off days but usually its on.

                        1. re: cat
                          Wahooty RE: cat Jul 23, 2009 09:19 AM

                          Pho Viet is pretty good. Krispy Roll at Warden and Eglinton is fantastic on a good day, just okay on an off day.

                          1. re: cat
                            h
                            Hondapendragon RE: cat Jul 23, 2009 11:23 AM

                            Pho Dau Bo is my favourite for rare beef pho. At the location on Finch, I believe it's number 421. Yes, I go that often!

                          2. re: b2lu
                            jayt90 RE: b2lu Jul 23, 2009 09:34 AM

                            Pho Mi Asia has consistently good broth, even at busy lunchtimes, and an extensive menu with quick service and low prices.

                            -----
                            Pho Mi Asia
                            1008 Wilson Ave, Toronto, ON M3K1G6, CA

                            Pho Mi Asia
                            1248 Dundas St E, Mississauga, ON L4Y2C1, CA

                2. g
                  gastronom RE: b2lu Jul 23, 2009 07:26 AM

                  Pho Pasteurs meat is outright disgusting. It don't know what cut of the beef it is, but its chewy and turns into mush in your mouth. If you want a vegetarian pho, sure pho pasteur has a nice broth, but if you care about the quality of your m eat then pho hung is far superior. Plus the spring rolls, both fresh and fried are phenomenal at pho hung. the bun however is really poor.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: gastronom
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                    warlock RE: gastronom Jul 23, 2009 06:59 PM

                    I have been a regular at Pho Pasteur for the last 2 years and I agree that they could do better with their meat quality but they come out tops in other categories.....again I agree with the meat quality of Pho Hung but their broth is a bit off compared to Pho Pasteur.....and while the service is quick at Pho Hung,the attitude almost border's on unfriendly....

                  2. l
                    lamaranthe RE: b2lu Jul 23, 2009 11:20 AM

                    At 100 Steeles West, there are several restaurants (Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese). On, in particular, is called Pho. Has anyone been trying one of these restaurants? If so, please let us know. Thanks!

                    1. s
                      szw RE: b2lu Jul 23, 2009 03:58 PM

                      I've been extremely disappointed generally by Toronto Pho but I've been spoiled by living in a great Pho city! The best so far I've found is Pho Mi Asia, and believe it or not the best is saigon springroll, a small place on coxwell and o'connor. I hope it survives because it doesn't seem like a great area for a pho restaurant but the broth is extremely flavorful and they provide sate sauce on the side which makes it EXCELLENT. I ordered pho sate at the train place once and wow...that was the first time in my life I refused to keep eating after a single bite of any meal. This place doesn't have the best meat, it seems too lean and not enough of the tripey fatty bits, but the broth makes it worthwhile for me

                      1. m
                        malpeque RE: b2lu Jul 23, 2009 07:21 PM

                        Sprout on St. Clair west does a great rare beef pho - good broth and excellent quality meat.. I've had others that were too greasy for my liking.

                        1. a
                          Atahualpa RE: b2lu Jul 24, 2009 09:53 AM

                          Pho Hung has thin, slightly watery broth. However, the meat is excellent, the place is spotlessly clean and bright, the enclosed patio area is nice to sit in, the service is fast, and the wings, spring rolls, and shakes are great. Note that if you're dining solo, they can be quite brusque in trying to get you share a table during busy times.

                          Pho Pasteur has left me 'disturbed' on too many occasions for it to be sheer coincidence.

                          Que Ling in the Gerrard St. Chinatown deserves mention. Very good on all fronts. Tiny shack of place. I'd say more, but, it has been a while since I was there (just not in that area very much).

                          1. v
                            VooX RE: b2lu Jul 25, 2009 10:50 AM

                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/374112

                            Another good chowound thread (more recent reviews as well) including my rundown of about a dozen pho places this year.

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