It’s always tricky when it comes to finding a good Vietnamese restaurant. Most of them are catered towards the Western culture nowadays — not saying that’s bad, but I appreciate authentic food.
I came along T & D Vietnamese Noodle House last week for my Saturday lunch.
Disclaimer: I was invited here to try a few of their signature dishes; however, this is my complete and honest review.
The menu is quite lengthy. Appetizers include hard-to-find Vietnamese favourites like pork and shrimp tapioca dumping, Vietnamese rare beef salad, deep fried egg rolls (different than spring rolls!), and grilled beef wrapped in guise leaf. Entrees include the classic Vermicelli bowls, noodle soups, fried rice, and fried noodles. If you’re ever indecisive, they offer different types combos and daily specials to assist you.
Bò tái chanh is a Vietnamese rare beef salad made with sweet house-made soy sauce. The beef is lightly seared and marinated — similar to the Japanese beef tataki! It’s slightly spicy due to the thinly sliced raw onions and red pepper. The chopped peanuts and fried onions gave it a great crunchy texture. Try it with the fresh basil for a subtle peppery taste. I pretty much fell in love with this place right after the first bite.
Bò lá lốt served with nước chấm sauce. These are beef rolls grilled with garlic and spices. It had a nice charcoal flavours. Crispy on the outside while maintaining its moisture inside. The sauce is used in various Vietnamese dishes; unlike the regular fish sauce used for cooking, nước chấm is used for dipping. This one had a sweeter profile.
Side note: most, if not all, the sauces served are made in house.
Bánh bột lọc is a chewy transparent dumpling made with tapioca flour and filled with minced pork and shrimp. I’ve had these in various restaurants (not calling anyone out here), and either there wasn’t enough filling, or the dough would rip right when you grab it. The ones made by T & D Noodle House were chewy, loaded with filling, and held its shape.
We were first amazed with how crispy the chicken looks. The chicken is first brined then fried to order. It’s exactly how it seemed — extremely crispy skin and cooked to perfection. The fried rice needed a dash of salt, but it came with a side of soy sauce to season it to your desire.
I also couldn’t decide whether to get the bún bò huế or pho, so the owner was kind enough to let me sample both in a small bowl.
Bún bò huế is a very popular spicy Vietnamese soup. I’m always indecisive when deciding between BBH or the classic phở dặc biệt. Traditional BBH has a dominant lemongrass aroma and served with congealed pig blood. Many restaurants tend to opt out of the pig’s blood though, I guess it’s not a favourite in YEG…
Every restaurant and chief takes their own spin on BBH. T & D’s was less spicy, but you’re more than welcome to add more of their house-made chili oil. The broth was surprisingly clear. To make a clear broth, it is critical to clean the meats well before making the actual broth.
The classic phở dặc biệt. I feel like this dish is a must in any Vietnamese restaurant. Am I the only one who judges a place by their pho? If they can’t make a good pho, are they really a Viet resto? There’s not much to note about this except the broth was clear with strong aromatic pho flavours. It’s your classic, traditional pho, except it was loaded with meat. Not sure if we got genuine dishes or we were just hooked up, but there were LOTS of tripes and tendons in that small bowl (gimme all the expensive meats!) We noticed the broth in both the BBH and phở dặc biệt were very clear.
Organic green tea infused with orange peel shipped straight from Vietnam as a palate cleanser.
I hadn’t heard about this place until I ran across it on Instagram, so I guess it’s considered a hidden gem in my books! T & D is a small, family-owned restaurant, operating just over 4 years now. I love supporting local businesses, especially when it’s this delicious and affordable. If you’re looking to try Vietnamese dishes other than just pho, give T & D Vietnamese Noodle House a try.
Visit their website @ www.tdnoodlehouse.com.
T & D Vietnamese Noodle House
8405 118 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5B 0S5