BFMartin.ca

Temptation Tea Shop

Posted on 2006-07-11 20:43

324 Bank Street
Map

A small place outside of Chinatown. Open 11AM to 10PM daily, except it opens later on weekends.

Different? yes. Good? read on.

Luckily, there’s a patio so the capacity doubles when weather permits. There’s a small menu of which more than half contains specialty drinks like bubble tea, bubble sherbet, special calpis drinks (whatever they are), plus others. Rather expensive, too, ranging from $3.50 to $6.00 each.

Food is available as well. There’s the usual pho, spring rolls and some bun. Then there’s stir-fry’s of chicken, lemon grass, oyster sauce and other nice stuff like salads.

Pho comes in one size only, and cost $6.75. Side condiments are sparse. None of them are on the table, not even the hot sauce.

Comments

This is mainly a drinks place

This is mainly a drinks place that happens to have some food available, but they seem to do a really good job on both.

I've been twice. The first time I had the regular beef pho with beef tendons. Despite being a bit smaller than I liked (only one size is available) the broth was delicious. There was a lot of ground black pepper in there which was not mentioned on the menu, but a welcome addition for me. The tendon was a bit chewier than usual, but still edible.

The second time, I had their bun, which consisted of grilled pork strips with peanuts, a spring roll, rice vermicelli and a bowl of fish sauce for dipping or pouring. There was also a small salad on the side. The presentation was attractive but unusual being spread out on a large plate instead of everything being layered in a large bowl.

Each time I had a bubble tea with tapioca pearls. One was passion fruit and the other was with lychees. They both tasted very nice although the passion fruit drink was slightly sweeter than I preferred.

On Wednesdays, they have a special where you get a free bubble tea with the purchase of a meal costing a certain amount.. The bubble tea is their promotional flavour of the week. They don't say when this offer will expire.

Overall, a welcome addition to the pho scene.

Rating: 8

At first, I was tempted

At first, I was tempted (sorry) to not take this place seriously at all as a pho restaurant. I mean, it is very small, obviously features fancy bubble tea type drinks as their main attraction, and is outside of Chinatown. OK well forget that last one, there are several really good pho places outside of Chinatown.

First the negative. It is quite small in terms of not only capacity, but the tables themselves. Condiments are consequently not on the tables, which probably also makes sense as most people don't like hoisin sauce in their bubble tea. Also, the soup is one size, and the selections are limited. There are a few beef broth varieties, and a few chicken broth varieties. Really that's it for soup.

Now the positive. The restaurant is new and fresh, even slightly funky. They have a small patio facing Bank st., which is good for a nice day. They have plenty of tasty bubble teas, shakes and so on - although I wouldn't classify them as the best I've had. Nice neat shaped glasses, but not the best tasting. The soup itself - surprisingly good. Broth was quite tasty, plenty of noodles, and meat was decent quality. It was close to being a fusion dish too, as it had some Thai and Chinese influences. There was a nice plop of asian veggies, a sprinkle of nuts, and even a poached egg.

I somehow managed to forget about trying the spring rolls, but that only gives me an excuse to try going back.

rating: 7.75

JJ