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Monday 12 December 2011

Thanh Da Edmonton, AB - Yummy sausage salad rolls and tasty soup noodles

Rating Food 7.5/10, Service 8/10
After a long day of running errands, me and a girlfriend stop off at Thanh Da to have grab a late dinner. We got there just before closing, but the kitchen was kind enough to stay open a bit longer just for us. Its easy to miss this place along a stretch of 97th street, but with its amber tables and simple decor, its both a mix of unpretentious and welcoming. We arrived too late to try some of their specialties like their stir fried shrimp with spicy peppers and lemongrass or salted deep fried prawns as they were sold out for the night. Still, we had plenty of appetizers, soupy noodles, broken rice dishes and special entrees to choose from.  Service was quick and food was out in short order.

Grill sausage spring rolls
Forgoing spring rolls which we usually order, we opted for a semi-healthier appetizer. The grilled moist sausage was still warm and lent a savory richness to the salad rolls, which contrasted nicely with the cool rice vermicelli, shredded iceberg lettuce and sweet shredded carrot. The hoisin based dipping sauce added in a sweet note, while the roasted peanuts topping gave the rolls a nice textural element (peanuts can be omitted for those with allergies). Mmmm.

While we were waiting, our pho and bun bo hue veges arrived.  Lots of beansprouts for my pho, and lots of julienned cabbage for my girlfriend's bun boe hue.  Nestled amongst them were a couple wedges of lemon, Thai basil, chilis and ngo gai (similar to a herbally cilantro, but long and skinny), or more commonly known as culantro.  Heehee, with all the colors, it almost looks like a salad.

Bun Bo Hue
My girlfriend's bun boh hue, or spicy beef noodle soup arrived first, steaming hot - I clouded up the camera lens when I got too close *whoops*. We were both surprised it wasn't a shade of radioactive red from all the chilis normally added to this dish. The broth was fragrant and savory with strong notes of fish sauce, and had a trace of heat.  A good portion of sliced beef, fried pork and peppercorn sausage floated over a generous handful of rice noodles, and it was topped with diced green onions, cilantro and slivered red onions. 

the satay
As with most Vietnamese restaurants, they have in house made satay, and Thanh Da was no exception. Lots of garlic, chilis, shallots and secret spices (everyone makes it a little differently) pack plenty of flavor and heat.. which my girlfriend bent to applying liberally to her bowl. The more you add, the tastier.. but also spicier!!

the Pho
Woot! My bowl arrived shortly after my girlfriend started to lace her bun boh hue with the fiery satay.  Savory meatballs with a bouncy mouthfeel (and a few pieces of gristle) floated happily in a broth fragrant with star anise and cardamon, with the rice noodles.  Along with the meatballs, a few small pi peeking out.  Pieces of tripe, smooshy beef tendon, a large piece of oxtail and a stack of sliced beef rounded out the meats.  Diced green onions, cilantro and slivered red onions topped this yummy bowl of pho. 

Overall, a decent place to grab a quick hot filling bowl of soup noodles, and excellent salad rolls. Just make sure you drink plenty of water after as they use a slightly heavier hand on msg.

Thanh Da Restaurant
12924 - 97 Street, Edmonton, AB
Phone (780) 757-1315
Hours Open daily for lunch and dinner until 9pm
Thanh Da Restaurant on Urbanspoon


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