Went to Golden Turtle (125 Ossington Avenue) tonight for Vietnamese — I was actually quite impressed. I like my pho but hadn’t really been eating it often for the past few years.
I used to work in Waterloo, where I had the dual benefits of having 1. a relatively high concentration of pho joints nearby, and 2. a food-enthusiastic Vietnamese co-worker who could direct me to the best ones. And so I fell into a mode where I just kinda took it for granted that I could get good pho. Similarly, I also had a Korean co-worker who’d located the best Korean restaurants in town, jump-starting my appreciation and education of that cuisine.
When I moved to Toronto, however, I wasn’t up to date on the local Vietnamese and Korean food scenes. I did try a few pho places around town, but was pretty disappointed; mushy noodles, salty (or MSG-y) broth, dull flavours…meh. For a long time I just didn’t bother eating pho.
Korean, however, I was determined to nail down, so I tried a bunch of places on the Bloor-Christie strip and around Yonge and Finch. I amassed a mental catalogue of my favourite restaurants for certain dishes and subgenres, acquired a considerable taste for soju, and, in the process, thoroughly confused my Flickr friends. They didn’t know much about me in person, but after seeing all the pictures of Korean food on my Flickr stream, assumed I was Korean. Oops.
Tonight, though, I finally thought to pay a visit to Golden Turtle, after having months ago added it to my “restaurants to try” list. The spring rolls were addictively crispy, and the pho was…actually really good. The broth was light and not too salty, but still vibrant and flavourful. The noodles were neither mushy nor clumpy and stood up wonderfully to the teeth. I did forget to try the condensed-milk coffee, and, more alarmingly, also forgot to get pictures of the food. Which is of course the perfect excuse to go back soon.
And yes, I know we’ve been delinquent about posting recently. But we have been eating, so we have lots of grist. In the pipeline, Jen has a post about Harlem Restaurant, and we recently tried the Black Hoof, which delighted us both. If you’re interested in more immediate — but abbreviated — updates on what we’re eating and cooking, you can subscribe to our Twitter feed.