Toronto Day 2 : Tour East – from Vietnam to Shangri-la

E & I traveled back to Toronto to help celebrate the union of two of our good friends. Before heading to the ceremony (which was located at the Shangri-la), we had a chance to grab some Vietnamese food from a restaurant my family highly recommended. I’m a bit tentative when it comes to Vietnamese food in Toronto, because I find it all sort of tastes similar (except my favourite little Pho place downtown called Pho Tien Thanh – which, strangely, my family doesn’t appreciate). I’ve decided that perhaps my family and my taste buds don’t necessarily align! Which is so often the case when it comes to food. Everyone’s a critic!

The place was pretty unassuming – located in a strip mall at the corner of Brimley & Sheppard in Scarborough. Though I’ve driven past this intersection millions of times over the course of my life in Toronto, I never once took note of this little place. The menu, however, settled my nerves a bit because it was bit more diverse and eclectic than many other Pho joints in the G.T.A. Of particular note was the listing of Betel Leaves, which were used as a wrapper on grilled beef skewers. Whenever I read something ‘exotic’ on a menu that I have yet to try, I generally lean towards ordering it.  The availability of Asian-influenced drinks is something that is lacking in Boston, so I try to get my fix when in Toronto. The waitress highly recommended Soupsop, and since I’ve always wanted to try it, I took this as a good opportunity. I asked the waitress for a couple of other recommendations before deciding, and settled on her favourite house dish – Curried Rice Noodle Soup.

The food was quick to arrive, but everything was tasty and fresh. Our Betel Leaf-wrapped skewers were aromatic and quite tasty. It was a unique taste, though I wouldn’t say I would go out of my way to order it again. The recommended course of rice noodle wrapped fried crab was probably the winner of the meal. It had a nice texture and the saltiness of the dried/fried crab was nicely offset by the sweetness of the Romain. A filler of rice vermicelli was used to round out the dish.  The ‘crab’ reminded me of dried pork shavings on top of Congee at Chinese restaurants.

My curried noodle soup was nice and spicy. However, I still prefer the more complex curry of the nearby Malaysian Curry Food Court stall called Lucky Curry House (3636 Steeles Ave. East Markham). The family members that recommended this place really enjoyed the curry and placed it ahead of Lucky’s version – to each their own! I would welcome a bowl of warm curry accompanied by a freshly fried roti from Lucky any day, but my family doesn’t appreciate the more humble (read: hole-in-the-wall) surroundings.

The beef noodle soup was extremely spicy, but tasty. It wasn’t anything special (I much prefer the beef noodle soup of Sichuan Gourmet in the Boston area), but once again, family loved it.

Would I head back? Maybe in a pinch, but I probably wouldn’t make a special trip there. It’s conveniently located near my home, so maybe I’ll find myself here again. Would I recommend it? If you’re in the area and not sure of what to eat – Head to Babu first for some fine Sri Lankan Cuisine (take-out). If that fails, then maybe this place might be worth checking out. The one thing it did do for me was get me excited about my South-East Asia trip coming up early next year. Vietnam – here I come!

Thien Phat

4419 Sheppard Avenue East, Scarborough, Ontario, Canada

2 Responses to “Toronto Day 2 : Tour East – from Vietnam to Shangri-la”
  1. Fabia says:

    Vietnam! I’m envious and am positive you’ll enjoy the food there (among other things). Beautiful photos. You make everything look publication-ready! Keep up the good work.

  2. Thank you very much, Fabia!! I’m finally getting around to learning how to properly take a photo, as well as post-process them. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but just never got around to it. I’m happy that it’s making a good impression!! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you continue to do so!

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