Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pho Saigon, Newmarket - Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup in its best

Address: 16925 Yonge Street, Newmarket, ON L3Y 5Y1
Phone: (905) 830-3488

Phở - Vietnamese beef noodle soup.

Newmarket, Ontario - with population just over 80k people has surprisingly large number of Pho establishments. There are at least five restaurants in Newmarket (I know of), that advertise themselves as Pho places and another three or four that would have Pho on the menu, while specializing on some other kind of Asian food.

The best one - Pho Saigon on Yonge st. one light north of Mulock dr. Spotlessly clear broth, always fresh condiments and, most importantly - lineup at the front door at the lunch time - the best indication of the good restaurant for the suburb like Newmarket.

For these of you who know enough about Pho - you got it already - Pho Saigon is the best place in Newmarket. For others - some introduction to Pho.

Phở Beef Noodle Soup 101

Pho is a Vietnamese signature soup, made of beef broth, rice noodles and slices of different varieties of meet. Here is what they serve in Pho Saigon:
- Raw beef (Phở tái) - finely sliced, it would be served pink and cooked right in your bowl
- Well done beef (Phở bò chín nạc)
- Tendon (Phở gân bò) - jelly-like pieces, not everyone in my family likes
- Tripe (Phở sách bò) - insights of the cow's stomach - while sounds scary, not that bad at all
- Chicken (Phở gà) - yes, just chicken
- Meat Balls (Phở bò viên)

In most of Pho places you'll find a menu of dozen or so types of soups, which are essentially the same broth and noodles but different combination of meat slices. "All in one" combination would usually be called "House Special" and will cost buck or so more for a bowl. It is also normal to ask for some extra meet (obviously for a little extra money). I personally like combination of raw and well-done beef with "extra shot" of chicken.

Basil, Lime and Bean Sprouts usually served on the side. It's up to you if and how to use them - my preference - basil and lime juice goes into the bowl straight away, sprouts wait till most of the noodles are done with. There are also sweet sauce as well as chili always on the table - make sure to try these in your soup.

Most of the Pho places would serve three sizes of each soup Small, Medium and Large. Some however would call it Medium, Large and Extra Large. I can barely manage "Medium" and "Small" is just a right lunch-size for me.

Pho Saigon on Urbanspoon