Over the last few years I’ve reviewed about 20 or so Vietnamese restaurants. Even with that, there are still several that I haven’t gotten around to trying. One of these is Thanh Huong, which is located on Sargent Avenue by Langside Street.
One thing to note before I get started. If you look up the restaurant online, all the menus and prices your find are out of date, Depending on the menu you see, the prices on individual dishes are generally $2.00 to $4.00 more than what you will see online. Still good prices, but you might want to be aware of that before visiting or ordering.
Thanh Huong is located on the main floor of a two story house on Sargent. As you enter, there is a stairway that leads to what appears to be a private residence on the top floor. The restaurant is on your right as you enter the building. The dining area is long and relatively narrow. On the left hand side there is a long bar, and the kitchen area. Most of the seating is along the right wall, while at either end of the restaurant the seating area widens out to include extra seating on the left hand side as well. I’ve visited four times, and each time I’ve been seated in the wide area by the Sargent avenue end of the building.
One of the reasons I finally got around to visiting Thanh Huong was that I was looking for a restaurant that was still serving later on in the evening, and as I scrolled around on my phone, I found out that this place was open until 10 pm.
I hadn’t had myself a BBQ Chicken soup for quite a while and thought that would make a good meal choice. I also ordered a steamed bun to go along with it. The soup was delightful. There was plenty of chicken, and the skin was good and crispy and the broth quite tasty as well. The steamed bun (not pictured) was a little disappointing. The dough was a little under cooked in places and on the whole it was that great a dish.
Repeat visit with a partly repeated ordered.
My second visit to Thanh Huong was again later on in the evening, at least past what would be a major dinner rush. As things turned out, I’ve yet to hit the place when it was busy. This time there were only about four other diners when I arrived, but as I was ordering food a few other people joined the tables already in progress.
The service is pretty good, but because I haven’t ever been when the place is even close to have full I couldn’t say what it would be like if you hit the place at a busy time. The owner and his wife are the only people I’ve seen on the service end of things on any of my visits.
Generally speaking I remember what I’ve previously ordered at a specific restaurant when I’m visiting fro the purpose of review. This time however, I had a brain freeze and ordered the BBQ Chicken soup for a second time. I wasn’t disappointed by this as I quite liked it the first time I ordered it, and the second try confirmed this.
The restaurant also offers a dumpling special. This is a rather humourous looking special menu wise, as a picture of the dumplings with a title on it, is stuck in the middle of an otherwise blank sheet of paper. I was a little hesitant to try this after my experience with the steamed bun. However, I decided to give it a go. I was glad I did. The dough was cooked perfectly and the pork filling was nicely cooked and seasoned. There are six dumplings in the order and it would make a great starter for two or three people when dining together.
Thanh Huong Phô
Of course one can’t review any Vietnamese restaurant without restaurant without trying the Phô. If it wasn’t for my brain fart, I would have tried this on my second visit. However, the BBQ chicken soup was reason enough to think that the Phô would live up to expectations. This is a very good version of the soup. One of the things I noticed was that there was a large amount of bean sprouts on the side plate.
The broth was good and there was plenty of the beef to go along with it.
I also ordered a plate of the spring rolls. The spring rolls were good and crispy. they were well cooked not having been over done in the fryer. The filling was as delicious as the outside was crispy.
For beverage I ordered the Sawmill Creek Red wine to go along with my meal. The wine is nothing particularly special, but it’s only $4.00 for the glass and makes a nice change of pace to my usual Vietnamese Coffee.
Last night was my most recent visit to the restaurant. I had seen little snippets around that suggested that people really liked the spicy soup option here. However, I had ordered soup on all three of my previous visits and thought that I would give the Bún(vermicelli noodles) a try instead.
However, I still wanted to try something spicy so I ordered the Spicy Chicken version of the dish. On the whole I really enjoyed the dish. The chicken was tender and the vegetables were crisp. Unfortunately it was a let down in the spicy department. There just wasn’t any spice to the dish. I may go back some day to search out the spicy soup to see if that lives up to the reputation that it seems to have online.
I didn’t order any appetizers this time around, but I did order a beverage. On the menu this is described as a highball. They list a variety of alcohols, and I ordered the vodka highball. When I ordered the owner asked me if I wanted one oz. or two. I said one, and when the drink arrived it turned out to simply be a one ounce shot of vodka. I couldn’t be bothered to send it back and order something, but it’s worth noting, if you are ordering, that what they call a highball is simply a shot.
While the food here is good, with some many other Vietnamese restaurants nearby such as Viva and Pho Hoi An within a block or so, I doubt that this will be a regular Vietnamese choice for me. Still, there is such a large menu that I may return simply for the opportunity to see if I can find a real gem among the many items I haven’t tried.