Wayne and I went to Asian Restaurant on Arthur St and Mountdale Ave in Thunder Bay. Wayne thought it was opening day today, but it had actually opened on the 21st! Not quite sure how he mixed that one up. I love Vietnamese food so was very excited to have a real live Vietnamese restaurant opening up in good ole TBay. But alas…there was only ONE Pho on the menu. Really? There are so many Pho types, chicken, tripe, rare beef, well done beef, tendon, beef balls etc etc all they had was rare beef with beef balls. I can’t have beef balls (but can’t remember what I am allergic to exactly but know I can’t have them) so I asked for no beef balls and extra rare beef.
There was a lot of rare beef in my bowl, which was really nice. The soup broth wasn’t as tasty as Pho Du Bo and was lukewarm (ewwww). They also cooked my bean sprouts. But did have lime. Didn’t have my favourite hot sauce (only the chili garlic sauce Eyana loves). No culantro. No Thai basil (the best part, besides the tasty broth). They said they imported ingredients but said “This is Thunder Bay! We can’t get that here! It freezes in transport. Maybe in summer.” Our summer rolls (made without shrimp for me) were delicious, but it looked like I couldn’t have the sauce because it looked like hosin sauce or oyster sauce both of which have wheat in them. We also tried their homemade Vietnamese sausage with kimchi.
The sausage was excellent, the kimchi not so much although Wayne liked it because it wasn’t hot and spicy. Both of those appetizers ran $5.50 each. Rather pricey for Vietnamese food. That is actually one reason I like Viet food. The great prices! Not so in TBay. They had only one noodle bowl too and no curry soup. They did have a curry dish that I will try next time. Wayne tried the Pad Thai
in a mild version that he discovered he liked at Goldstones in Toronto in Chinatown this past summer. He said Goldstones’ Pad Thai was better, although he liked the portion sizes here in TBay at Asian.However, with that being said the Pad Thai was $18.50! He wanted to get the Pad Thai made hotter next time, as the mild was really mild. My Pho was $11.50 a far cry from the $5.50-$6.50 I usually pay in and around Toronto. I had to pay for my Jasmine tea too, no free tea. The wait staff was very attentive and came by with hot water to top up my tea bag (strange, was always loose leaf and strained before coming to the table at all the Viet restaurants I’ve ever been to before and of course, FREE!) and coffee frequently and were very nice when Wayne winged his coffee cup and sent coffee flying all over the table with his elbow. At the end of our meal, after I had 1/2 my soup packed up to take home with me, they brought out 2 Chinese fortune cookies (weird) and these 2 little biscuit balls with this weird stuffing in them. Wayne – who is seemingly trying almost everything new and interesting these days – I mean really – he was eating frog legs the other day at Beau Daddy’s Cajun restaurant with Kodey for his 16th birthday, ate one of these weird Asian buns and said “Yumm!”
Then Wayne broke the other one open and we peered inside – it was filled with some round white thing, but Wayne didn’t care what it was, he just said it was good and ate the other one. I couldn’t have it because it was definitely a wheat product alas. The filling was tofu looking, but Wayne couldn’t say what it was.
The bill came to $50 for a tea, coffee, two entrees and two appetizers. Asian restaurant said that they were going to be licensed to serve alcohol within the next month. The owner is Tommy Tran and their website which will be http://asianrestaurant.ca should be up and running soon. We then tried to download all the vids from tonight from Wayne’s Samsung Galaxy Ace with not so much success, as not all the vids would download and then the Mac Desktop iMovie kept crashing. We had Wayne’s 16 year old son Kodey over tonight and the nanny, Janet, both of whom should be all set up (alright totally confused) about video editing as I’m a bit behind with my vids and they both would like some extra work. But really, all they did was watch Wayne crash the computer a lot. We did get a vid out of it and some pics. I will definitely go back to Asian restaurant and try the noodle bowl and the curry dish as we are kinda isolated around here and this is the only restaurant besides Woking Bird for Vietnamese food in Thunder Bay. I totally miss “real” Vietnamese food in Toronto though much and am really disappointed that the restaurant didn’t live up to my usual Viet experiences elsewhere.