Pho Thu Do Riverside

Posted on 2011-12-27 05:11

3987 Riverside Dr. unit 7
In the T&T Plaza

Another new place. This one opened near the end of October, 2011. This has the same name as a restaurant downtown and the two are linked by the owners being in the same family.

Spring rolls Bowl of pho Bowl of pho
Dishes at Pho Thu Do Riverside


Hi. My name is Sara Nguyen

My name is Sara Nguyen and I was an ex-waiter at Pho Tu Do. I’ll explain how I got fired in a minute.
First, let me just insist on the fact that this restaurant would actually woudn’t be so horrendous if the boss wasn’t such an ignorant bitch.
Yeah, you can usually see the divodrcee in the afternoon, she wears tons of a make-up, ridiculously high heels (yep, Asians are short, trust me I know) with infantile and brightly colored toenails, accompanied by her two spoilt chubby kids. Not only is she not fluent in English, you SHOULD NOT ORDER TAKE-OUT since the website menu does not correspond even slightly to the real menu. And you’ll probably notice the spelling errors too.
Furthermore, she has not the slightest ideas of Health Regulations in Canada. Would you like to know how I got fired? I accidently dropped some basil leaves (that some customers left on their plate ie – that any normal restaurant would throw away) on the kitchen floor. The boss insisted that I clean it with water and that I place in back with the rest of the prepared basil. So basically the bean sprouts and the basil that they are serving you could have been on someone else’s plates or even on the disgusting floor, where who-knows-how many bacteria and viruses thrive. So bam, you bite into that and there you go, maybe you’re going to be okay, or maybe you’ll just catch someone’s cold, or even hepatitis C. Not saying, just saying. Next time you go, I dare you to ask the boss if they reuse the old vegetables. I would like to know how she lied to your face.
In my opinion, the customer’s health is much more important than my low-paid job, if you can call it that, on not slavery. I also dare you to ask the waiters how much they get paid : it was 7.5$ for all of us. Isn’t that illegal you ask? Yes, I checked with the government of Canada, but there’s nothing I can do : she paid all of us under the table aka cash. That means she does not need to pay any taxes when April comes round.
Now don’t get me wrong. The boss is the problem. Not the waiters or the cooks. They are the ones that really work their ass off. The cooks are super fast and the waiters really do know their stuff.
But since this is a food review, let me run down some of their dishes.
The rice and vermicelli: they’re all tasty and at a great value too. They are served with a VERY sweet fish sauce, veggies, peanuts and rice. The Meat is marinated on the sweet side (trust me)
The Pho and U-Dong Noodle : honestly, this is the dish MADE for white people. At home, we make it with more beef bones to enrich the broth, thus using less MSG. at Pho Tu Do, they want to cut costs, which means more MSG. Need proof : you’ll feel excessively thirsty and maybe even nauseous with a bad headache after slurping up all that “delicious” pho.
The Vegetarian dishes : not the forte, but still acceptable
Appetizers: the spring rolls are VERY overprice, however, the mango salad is divine.
The Stir-Fry : pretty decent, all of them.
Desserts : overpriced, you can pass (there’s Bubble Tea at T&T Supermarket, just across the parking lot)
Beverages: this section is just ludicrous. Jasmine Tea is costly here. 50 cents if you are eating alone, 1 dollar for the two or you. Green Tea is double. That’s why I used to always try to tell the customers that they were not free right from the beginning so that they wouldn’t get any nasty surprise. And they are mass produced from Costco Soft drinks : ANYWHERE but here, hun. They are 2.50$ each!! The other drinks will set you up at 5$.
So there you go. Know you know the truth about PTD, the communist and tyrannical bitch who owns the place and the food.
My advice : if you really want Asian food – and I mean CLEAN Asian food. Go to Bambu, just a mere 500m away. You’ll feel much better and your wallet too.

Fixing Post

Hi, i will report truthfully about the Pho Thu Do restaurant. I am very frustrated from this kid post. i am right now working as the Chef in the restaurant. Me, the kitchen staff and all the waiters/waitress got paid by cheque with the wage from the government's degine biweekly (15th and 30 or 31st). I do know who this kid is. His name is ******* (removed - bfm) and he was in training for 3 days. However, he is just a kid and he did not even follow the rules in the restaurant. His uniform was very untidy. When he finished his lunch at the restaurant he didn't even clean his mess. The boss is nice enough to tell him to clean but His attitude is very unacceptable. He got a lot of complaint from the customer about his service.That's why he didn't get the jobs after the training.

The owner of the restaurant has been in the business for 10 years with no complaint from the customer and problems with Health Inspector. I am the one who make the soup everyday and i do know very well. The broth is mostly made from Beef bones and chicken bones. The amount of MSG is very limited(most asian restaurant put in MSG in their food, and this kid doesn't know anything).even the spring rolls are made specially and differently from other restaurant. If you have been to restaurant, you will know it properly.

My best advice is DO NOT listen to a non educated kid. Come and visit our restaurant

A Classic Reinvented

When I moved to Ottawa about 15 years ago, the first Vietnamese restaurant I visited was Pho Thu Do. Back then, there weren't as many pho places as now. Luckily Pho Thu Do was a good place back then and has remained one of the better places ever since. In a competitive industry, surviving this long is remarkable. Staying on or near the top is even better. So I was looking forward to the next adventure that bore the name of such a place.

The first thing that struck me was the decor. A dark and classy theme throughout, nicely appointed, and art on the wall from local artists. Very nice.

The menu is similar to the Thu Do restaurant downtown but not exactly the same. Of course I had to try the spring rolls and the pho, being staples of places like this, and among my personal favourite foods.

There were three of us and we split an order of vegetarian spring rolls. They were served hot and crispy. The wrappers are of an unusual texture and they are similar to the other Thu Do.

My pho contained seafood. There were shrimp, fish balls and imitation crab. Nothing unusual or remarkable there. The quantity was what I expected and quality was good.

The broth was deelish. There wasn't as much anise as the other Thu Do, but it was still full flavoured. I detected some MSG, though not a lot. One person in my party, however, said there was a lot, and she was thirsty all afternoon.

Prices are extremely high, perhaps the highest in the city. I know I'm showing my age here, but you used to get a good-sized bowl of pho, enough for a meal, for $4. Here, our lunch cost $43 for three of us. That included an order of 4 spring rolls, one small and two medium bowls of pho and an order of tea. Yes, a pot of tea costs $2. Wow. The $43 total included tax but not the tip.

Regardless of the complaints, however, I was still satisfied with my meal. It's all about the broth for me, and this one works.

Rating: 8