Thai Hang Vietnamese Restaurant
When I started this blog, about six months ago, I decided to make my first post about Bò 7 Món (Seven Course Beef) at Sông Hương. Since that lunch I’ve been on the hunt for another restaurant that offered this bounteous feast. My friend Wendles, after reading my post, told me Thai Hang on East Hastings also has it.
As I had been there for phở and had seen no mention of it on the menu, I told her she was nuts. Of course, she was right and I was a stubborn fool. Thanks for the tip, Wendles!! Sorry I doubted you!
The thing is, it’s not on the regular menu. They have a separate “Specials” menu available only after 3 pm.
Originally, I had contacted Sherman from Sherman’s Food Adventures about a possible blogger meet-up at Sông Hương for Seven Course Beef. Upon hearing Thai Hang also had it, we switched venues and Sherman was good enough to round up a few other hungry foodies. So, on this night, Sherman and I were joined by Kim from I’m Only Here For The Food, Jessica (and Mark) from Yum-O-Rama and Anita from La Petite Foodie.
On to the feast!
Rice paper wraps are dunked in bowls of hot water until softened.
An assortment of basil, mint and a few unidentified herbs, lettuce, cucumber, sprouts and pickled vegetables are laid on along with vermicelli rice noodles to fill your wrap.
Bò Nhúng Dấm (Blanched Beef Toro) is basically Vietnamese Beef Fondue.
The thinly sliced, lightly marinated beef is quickly dunked in the vinegary broth. Now comes the assembly. Hopefully you haven’t mangled the rice wrap too much (they’re quite finicky). Choose a couple of herbs and veg…take a bit of noodle…add the meat and your choice of hoisin, sriracha or the wicked lemongrass-garlic sauce…roll it all up and voila!
Yeah, it looks pretty good. The tricky part is picking it up and taking a bite without having it fall apart. Sherman offered up some sage advice…if it starts to come apart, just shovel the whole damn thing into your mouth and hope no one’s looking.
On of my favorite things, Bò Lá Lốt (Vietnamese Beef Sausages wrapped in Betel Leaf). These lemongrass, garlic and herb infused sausages are as addictive as it comes. As with Sông Hương, there are three varieties here which makes them count as three beef dishes out of seven. Sigh.
The Bò Saté (Satay Beef) was another favorite. Chewy and sweet with great grill flavour.
The final beef dish was Cháo Bò (Beef Congee)
For those of you keeping track (as I was, obviously), there wasn’t seven courses. We were told they didn’t have Chả Đùm (Specialty Beef Meatball). Also missing were Bò Mở Cháy (Beef Tendon) and Bò Lúc Lắc (Diced Beef Tenderloin). Not exactly as advertised.
The courses we did get were all very good, the portions generous. As Sông Hương is the only (I think) other place offering this meal, a direct comparison is in order. Both places had friendly, warm and attentive service. The price was $30 here and $26 at Sông Hương. The leafy herb and veg plate at Sông Hương, much superior in both execution, freshness and variety. Their plate is the bottom pic.
Here, at Thai Hang, they list and display all of the courses on their menu. At Sông Hương, all it says is Bò 7 Món (Beef prepared in seven different ways). That allows for a whole bunch of flexibility. Instead of having to tell the customers something isn’t available, the kitchen can be a little creative and no one’s the wiser.