If you’re like me who’s a food lover and has been to different Vietnamese places and ate enough pho, you should have a fair standard of what’s a good bowl of pho. And remember not to teach on behalf of someone else’s ethnic food if you are not a local or have the roots.. or else you’ll end up famous like Chef Tyler Akin who was featured in Bon Appetit’s pho uproar video “PSA: This Is How You Should Be Eating Pho”. There’s also a nice follow-up read if interested – click here.
Just recently, I had my first visit to Anh Dao with some friends on a Friday night. I got to say, this was one of the worse pho restaurants in Toronto. I’m not quite sure why it still has a 3.5 rating on both Zomato and Yelp, because to me having a 3.5 rating means it’s good (not the best) but holds up the ‘I will still come back another time’ opinion.
Anh Dao is a medium-sized restaurant that can accommodate approximately 6-7 tables. They are located right in the center of Chinatown, easily accessible if you’re in the area. The interior decor is average and payments (cash or credit) are made at the cashier located next to the kitchen, near the back of the store.
Our group arrived at Anh Dao around 6:45pm and the restaurant was not full – maybe just two other tables. We ordered 6-7 dishes where maybe 3 of them were identical. My boyfriend and I shared an order of spring rolls and we each ordered a bowl of pho (N1: House Special for $7.50). Per menu, it should have included sliced rare beef, lean well-done brisket, beef balls, and tripe. That wasn’t really the case. There were very little portion of noodles, only a few slices of thin beef, no tendons, and half a meatball found floating within my soup.
Moreover, our entire table’s food came super late – we waited almost 30 minutes for the first batch of food to come and additional 15 minutes for the remainder including my friend’s curry rice. Who needs to wait so long at a Vietnamese restaurant! Seriously, that plate of curry was also full of onions and entirely covered in sauce – not appetizing at all. I’m sure it didn’t need that long to make. On top of all that, Anh Dao didn’t provide any extra bowls or small plates for putting seafood sauce into and there were many flies flying around too (one even landed into my soup).
Anyhow, I was truly disappointed. The only good part about my experience was towards their spring rolls. They were very thin compared to ones I’ve tried elsewhere, but the inside guts were tasty. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t want to come back to this restaurant again.
Store Location: 383 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M5T 2G6 (Canada)
Customer Service: 3/5
Food Quality: 2/5
OVERALL RATING: 2.5/5