Pho Cuu Long is a Vietnamese restaurant that is located on St. Mary’s Road just north of Fermor Avenue. This is a restaurant that I end up at because nothing else was open, or, if open, was really full of people.
I like to take my chances when I choose a restaurant. Often I will walk down a busy street such as St. Mary’s Road and see what new-to-me place I can find. Usually this works out really well. However, every so often I hit a day or a time, when nothing is open.
This happens often on Mondays. Mondays are still a day when many restaurants stay closed. One year on Hallowe’en, I wandered down Ellice Avenue to find out that all the restaurants had either not opened, or closed by around 4:30 pm.
So that’s how I came to be at Pho Cuu Long.
Pho Cuu Long First Visit
Once I got inside I found it to be a large, comfortable looking place to dine at. This visit was before the immunization cards, so all that was needed was name and contact information.
The tables are mainly for four people, with a few designed to seat larger groups. Not surprisingly the Pho Cuu Long was mainly empty. Although, they were doing a brisk business in take out and delivery.
I like to try appetizers when I visit restaurants. I noticed that the appetizers available, were large in size, but also in price. Then, as I glanced down the menu, I noticed an appetizer platter. This consists of:
Butterfly Shrimp, Spring Rolls, Deep Fried Wontons, Deep Fried Calamari
It’s slightly more than the most expensive individual appetizers, but you could share it quite nicely with three. I however, shared it with me. It’s a good, enjoyable mixture of appetizers, with a lot of crunch in the various elements.
When I ordered the Pho, I ordered the Deluxe Beef, I went for the small. Past experience has taught me that ordering a small Pho at a Vietnamese restaurant will give me a hearty portion, and Pho Cuu Long is no exception.
This is a really good Pho. Yes, I added a little hot sauce as I went along, but this version stands up well, even without hot sauce.
Back for Vietnamese and Chinese Food
My second time at Pho Cuu Long came not long after I received my immunization card(digital version). On this occasion there were more people dining in, yet there was more than adequate distance between all of us.
This time around I took a little bit longer to look at the menu. I noticed that there were a large number of Chinese dishes on the menu. So, I decided to give a couple of them a try.
I love soup, so I decided to order the Hot and Sour. I said a couple of years ago, that Singyun Chinese restaurant in St. Boniface was my new favourite for Hot and Sour soup.
The Pho Cuu Long one, isn’t quite that good, but it is up there. It delivers very well on both the hot and sour elements. My one knock against it is, that although there are many shrimp, they are small and dry.
Another favourite dish of mine is Singapore Noodles. Being disappointed with the Shrimp in the Not and Sour soup, I ordered mine with chicken alone as protein. This again is a very good dish. There is a good amount of spiciness. Not the kind to hit you all at once but it build over time. The noodles are good and chewy, and there is a good mixture of vegetables in the dish.
I also ordered spring rolls. I associate the ones above more with Vietnam than China, but I may stand corrected on this. These were nice and crispy with a well-filled interior where the pork was moist and flavourful.
I topped my meal with a Vietnamese Coffee. It was good, but I was a little disappointed it came to the table already prepared. Part of the enjoyment of a Vietnamese Coffee, is watching the coffee drip into the sweetened condensed milk, and then stirring it all around. Nonetheless, it was an enjoyable end to an enjoyable meal.
The service here is attentive and well-organized. The staff are very friendly and welcoming. Pho Cuu Long is definitely worth stopping for, as you travel down St. Mary’s Road.