While smaller than the Chinatown’s you’ll find in Toronto and Vancouver, Montréal’s Chinatown, while small, still gives one a glimpse into Asian cultures. The scent of incense, roast duck, the sweet aroma of spices coming from a dumpling shop. It’s almost like being in Asia, almost.
A Vietnamese restaurant popular with both locals and tourists, Pho Bang New York fills up quickly. Finding a seat near a window, I looked in amazement as a waitress dropped off a menu the size of a small book and walked away. It was a tad overwhelming, and I’m afraid to say the waitress visited my table three times before I was ready to order.
A small bowl of Pho Tôm Rau ( a Tonkinoise soup with shrimp and vegetables) and Goi Cuon (spring rolls) was my choice, and shortly after ordering my waitress reappears with a dish of bean sprouts, lemon, red chilli, and a peppery leaf. Five minutes later the waitress places my bowl of pho on the table and I begin to wonder if she heard me when I said I wanted a small bowl as the bowl was the size of my head.
Swallowing my dismay over the size of my lunch, I sprinkled on some bean sprouts, tore up a couple of the peppery leaves, snapped the chilli into three pieces, and squeezed the lemon into my Pho. Allowing the flavours to mix gently before dipping my spoon and sipping on the broth.
The vegetables (broccoli and cauliflower) were large, cooked but still a little crunchy. The noodles were perfectly cooked and the pieces of shrimp were plumper than I first anticipated. All in all, a delicious bowl of Pho!
Pho Bang New York can fill quickly if you’re planning to go during lunch make sure you have plenty of time to enjoy the food.
Eat at Pho Bang New York
1001 St. Laurent Blvd
Open daily: 10 AM – 9:30 PM