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Archive for May, 2009

hai phong

Stopped by Hai Phong for a quick dinner the other day.  I was really looking forward to it ‘cuz I haven’t been since they re-opened.  The decor seemed much nicer than before- very clean and bright..  I wanted to try everything on the menu but only had room for spring rolls and a bowl of pho 😦

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The spring rolls were good- fresh, crispy, flavorful stuffing.  The pho broth tasted very unique- stronger cinnamon/clove flavor than other places.  The noodles were cooked just right and the beef was very rare, thin, and tender.  One thing I wasn’t too fond of was that the beef was too fatty for my taste.   Overall, the food was good but the pho wasn’t my type 😛  Not a fan of the broth. Though I would come back to try other dishes in the future.

Hai Phong Vietnamese on Urbanspoon

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We had to make our way to Bellingham for the Death Cab for Cutie concert and decided to start the night out right by having pho!  Prior to the trip, I did an online search of Vietnamese restaurants in Bellingham and found one really interesting sounding one called La Patisserie.

Upon arrival, we weren’t sure if we had the right place because… well it just didn’t look like they served pho!  Through the window you could see wedding cakes and other pastries.  We spotted someone in the corner having a bowl of pho and was relieved that we were at the right place.

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The interior was like a small town restaurant in the 80s.   It was very quiet- just a few tables were occupied. We waited for a while before we were greeted and had our orders taken.  We started out with some spring rolls.  They were hot and tasted very fresh but the filling tasted more like Chinese spring rolls rather than Vietnamese ones.

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They didn’t have too many types of pho on the list- we ordered the Pho Tai and chicken pho. Unfortunately, they were both sub-par 😦  The beef broth was a bit weak, and the chicken broth tasted like wonton soup.  They were generous with the meat and the chicken was very tender.  The noodles tasted more like the instant dry ones rather than fresh ones.  Overall, it wasn’t a very good experience.

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I would say the best part was just how unique this place was- I mean, how many people can say that they ordered their wedding cake from the pho place down the street? 🙂

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La Patisserie on Urbanspoon

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I went to Bao Chau the other day because I was craving for some tasty spring rolls.  They claim to have the best spring rolls in town so I thought it would be the best place to satisfy my cravings.

Well, it was definitely indeed one of the best I’ve had! They are very, very generous with the stuffing and the skin is nice and crispy.

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sorry for the crappy quality of the pictures- forgot my camera so had to use the phone.  The pho at Bao Chau wasn’t as good as I remembered.  The broth was a bit bland and a little high on the MSG.

Do you think Bao Chau has the best spring rolls?  Vote!

Bao Chau Vietnamese on Urbanspoon

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I remember trying out this place once almost 5 years ago.  At the time, the pho was very bland and had sooooooo much MSG, I vowed to never go there again.  Recently there has been a lot of positive reviews on Urbanspoon and dinehere- it turns out they had a change in ownership.  It was time to give it another try!

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We meet up for a late Sunday lunch and the place was pretty packed.  The servers had uniforms- shirts with the restaurants name.  We give extra points for that 😛  They were very pleasant but were so busy that the service was inattentive.  It didn’t help that we were in the corner table.

One thing we noticed is that they have nice dishes and utensils.  They had a pourable fish sauce dish and the soup spoon was nicknamed the ‘titanium’ spoon as it was very solid and heavy.  They are serious about their soups!!

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Review of the pho:

price: small for 5.75, large for 6.50

The portion was very good, good ratio.  8 thicker slices of beef in a small pho tai and the noodles were al dente.  The broth was described as ‘yummylicious’ but was a little bit greasy and MSG amount was detected as medium/high.  Overall, the pho was above average- we gave it a 8 and will be back in the future.  Though it’ll be hard to decide between going here or Bao Chau which is just a block away!

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Let’s hear your thoughts!

Le Petit Saigon on Urbanspoon

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