Dalat is a Chinese-VIetnamese restaurant located at Grant Park Festival. I don’t know why they call a collection of shops a festival. However, I digress before I begin. After visiting the Boston Pizza here, I decided I would give Dalat a try as well. Restaurants that try to mix cuisines are always an interesting experience. Rarely do they do both well. Pho Mama’s being one notable exception.
Dalat Chinese/Vietnamese Supper:
I decided to brave the rain one evening and take the bus up to the restaurant. Fortunately I managed to make it there without getting to wet. One section was fairly full, and so I ended up being seated by myself in the other section. I did feel somewhat isolated.
With the choice between a Chinese meal and a Vietnamese one, I went with a mix of both. All the appetizers seemed fairly substantial. As a result I chose a pork noodle soup as a starter. This was a smallish sized portion of soup with a few slices of pork and some thin chow mein style noodles. The broth was of the consomme variety, nicely seasoned without too much salt. This was from the Chinese part of the menu.
For an entree I chose Vietnamese Hot Satay Beef Vermicelli. This was well prepared with the beef being tender and the noodles good and chewy. Unfortunately, as far as the heat is concerned it didn’t exist. It made for a pleasant dish, but not much more.
I decided on my return visit I would go strictly Vietnamese. I started off with the Vietnamese Imperial Rolls. While the wrapping was good and crispy, a couple of the four were slightly overcooked. Also, at $8.25 for four small rolls, they are a little pricey for what you get. The vinegar dipping sauce did live up to the spicy description.
The Vietnamese Coffee is also on the pricey end. Mine was $5.50 for an amount that didn’t even fill an 8 ounce glass.
The focus on the beef slices vermicelli soup is a little off, however the soup really saved the day as far as my visits were concerned. Firstly, the beef was prepared in melt in your mouth slices. Secondly, it lived up to the definition of spicy that is on the menu. One of the things I did notice however, is a lack of Sriracha or other hot sauce on the table to add to your soup.
Having moved from Ellice Avenue to Taylor, Dalat seems to have gone upscale in it’s location and it’s prices. On the whole though, the food doesn’t quite live up to those changes. I might go again to give the Chinese portion of the menu a bigger try. While I would certainly visit Dalat again, it is not a place that I would leave the West End to visit.