Vietnam Noodle House

Posted on 2005-09-09 13:01

706 Somerset St. W.
(613) 230-8555

This hidden basement restaurant is advertised with a plain sandwich board sitting on the sidewalk. The decor is neat and clean with a cafeteria style layout of tables and chairs. The menu offers a variety of beef rice noodle pho soups, vermicelli (bun) bowls, and broken rice dishes.

Soup prices are cheap, with a small bowl at $4.49 to a large bowl for $6.49. Bun bowls range from $5.95 to $7.95.


Revisiting Vietnam Noodle House

I decided to go back to Vietnam Noodle House with some colleagues for lunch. It had been quite a while since the last time, mostly because the first time was not very good. At that time, the soup was bland, the service was slow, and the room was stark and hovering around 15 degrees.

This time...faired somewhat better. In a nutshell: the service was much faster, the soup wasn't as bland, and the room was on the warm side. The spring rolls were tasty, similar in style to those at Thu Do. Also like their competitor, the soup variety was not great. It may be more authentic to a particular part of Vietnam, but I for one enjoy more selection. Instead of 50 permutations of [beef, beef balls, tripe, tendon, flank], it would be nice to see bbq pork, shrimp, and egg noodles. In any case, at least the broth was much better.

I'll be back when I have a group of 10 or more, seeing that it is often empty and is cavernous in size.

rating: 7.0

This is not a pho

This is not a pho place.
everything else is great, though.


Bland. That's the only way I

Bland. That's the only way I can describe this place. The decor was bland and the food was bland.

Oh, the service was not bland. The waiter (could be the owner for all I know) was very friendly and talkative.

It's not that I disliked this place, but there's nothing to recommend it, either. Weill I ever be back? Maybe, if the other places are full.

I had the basic rare beef in a beef stock. It was OK, I finished it all, and gave a good-sized belch afterwards. Even the belch was OK.

Rating: 6.5


Too bad this restaurant is a

Too bad this restaurant is a bit hidden. It has a nice decore and big area to fit lots. It was a friday and not many people were in the restaurant so we predicted that they may not last long.

The menu is pretty extensive offering not only Pho. There's spring rolls with rice paper wrap (one of the best in town) and bean curd wrapped spring rolls (haven't tried it but it should be good too). They have rice dishes, vermicelli, and vegeterian dishes. There's also fruit shakes at the end of the menu.

I had rare beef Pho with beef balls and thought the soup was too bland. It does not have the concentrated aroma of Thu Do. This can only be explained as either not putting enough soup bones in the broth or not cooking the broth for long enough. I was disappointed with the soup but the spring rolls were the best in town. You don't find spring rolls wrapped in rice paper in many places. It has a certain crispness and texture that other spring roll wraps don't have.

I may go back but try the vermecelli instead next time.

Rating: 6


Very exciting to try a new

Very exciting to try a new Pho place. Funny how hidden the place is - we must have walked by it 100 times and not really paid much attention. Luckly for us (if not for them) this meant that the place was pretty much empty. In any case it was quite large, able to accomodate a number of large groups. It has the newly renovated look, with clean tile and nice decorations. Natural light was also reasonably abundant, given that it was under ground level.

The waiter was quite prompt to deliver menus, tea refills, and so on, as well as eager to fill us in, when asked, on the fact that they didn't have Sate on the menu. Their Soup section actually looks earily similar to that of Thu Do - mostly beef with combinations of "stuff", so no bbq pork, no shrimp, and no egg noodles. They did have a large section of "broken rice" dishes though, as well as several different types of spring rolls and wraps.

I took a rare and well done beef combination. The broth was not bad, but not exciting either. It was fairly bland but not overly so, had just a hint of garlic, and not too salty. The noodles on my small were on the generous side, and the beef was thin and of decent quality. There were also a fair dose of chopped green onions which I like. I also tried the traditional deep-fried Vietnamese style spring rolls. They were a bit doughy and actually flattened; the inside part was tasty, but the overly battered part was chewy and soaked up too much grease.

Rating: 7

Ho-hum about sums up what I

Ho-hum about sums up what I can say about this restaurant.

My preferred egg noodle soup options were erased from the menu, so I was left to order from beef optioned rice noodle soups. The slightly bland broth was uninspiring and required several swirls of hot sauce and hoisin sauce for added flavour. It took a longer than usual time to eat the soup due to the extremely small spoons provided. Noodle soups require a deeper cupped spoon in order eat managably. The noodles and beef were always spilling over the edge as I tried to fill my spoon, and there wasn't enough room after that when I did manage, to sip on broth.

The spring rolls were big and flat, though the outer shell was soft and chewy. I prefer a crispier, crunchy shell for my rolls. Not bad, but they were just average.

The decor was nice and bright given that the restaurant sits at basement level. Several wide windows provided sunlight to shine down into the restaurant.

Rating: 7