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First Impressions: Pho Thu Do at Riverside (new location)

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A few weeks ago, Don and I were feeling rather famished after shopping at Ottawa’s busy T&T Asian supermarket. We had just loaded our groceries in the car when we noticed an “open” sign hanging in the window of Pho Thu Do.

Pho Thu Do's Second Location

Pho Thu Do’s Second Location

Never one to turn down a steaming bowl of noodles, we eagerly made our way across the parking lot. The original Pho Thu Do, located on Somerset Street in Chinatown, remains our favourite go-to-place for pho. The second location opening just a week before, we were curious to see how it measured up.

The moment we stepped through the door, we were struck by the decor. While the Somerset location is a model of functional simplicity, the new location sported much more modern urban chic. Don described it as “bistro meets noodle-house.”

Hanging Lights

Hanging Lights

Dining room

Dining room

Counter with Cash and Till

Counter with Cash and Till

Even the plate-ware and teapots were stylish and modern.

Watching myself munching on a spring roll

Watching myself munching on a spring roll

The Somerset location is known for its chipped and worn porcelain tea pots, their lids fastened to their handles with string.

We also noticed that the prices listed in the menu were much higher with bowls for pho starting at $7.99 for a small to $10.99 for a large.

To start with, Don and I decided to share an appetizer of deep fried spring rolls (2 rolls for $3.95)

Deep Fried Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Shrimp, Pork & Vegetables)

Deep Fried Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Shrimp, Pork & Vegetables)

Freshly fried, the skin was crispy, but rather greasy as though they had been mishandled in the fryolater. Still, they weren’t bad spring rolls.

Opting for something simple, I settled on a bowl of medium rare beef and tendons ($8.99).

Medium Rare Beef & Beef Tendon Rice Noodle Soup

Medium Rare Beef & Beef Tendon Rice Noodle Soup

Don chose a bowl of medium rare beef, tripe, beef balls, and tendons ($9.99) and added the in-house chili hot sauce.

Medium Rare Beef, Tripe, Beef Balls, and Tendons Rice Noodle Soup

Medium Rare Beef, Tripe, Beef Balls, and Tendons Rice Noodle Soup

Overall, they were decent bowls of pho, but we felt something was missing. Though the garnishes and meats were fresh and the noodles perfectly cooked, the soup itself was lacking a depth of flavour we had become accustomed to at the Somerset location. It was also rather salty.

Don also mentioned he thought the tables at the booths were a little high for a noodle house. He actually found it awkward to slurp noodles.

However, as it had only been open for a short time, we will definitely be back to try it again.

Total: $27.04 (after taxes, before tip, and including one pot of tea ($1.00/each))

Particulars:
Pho Thu Do
3987 Riverside Dr. Unit 7
(613) 736-5678

Pho Thu Do on Urbanspoon

Filed in: restaurants
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Teacher by day and blogger by night, I have always been passionate about food. I grew up watching my mother cook and bake as I sat at the kitchen table doing my homework. In the summers, I happily played in the backyard garden, picking strawberries as my parents tended their crops. A city girl with a love for the outdoors, my goal is to capture the ever-changing Ottawa food scene. When I’m not running, you can find me shopping for ingredients or in the kitchen cooking for my family and friends. Whether you’ve been cooking for a long time or are learning to cook for the first time, I hope you will find something delicious here to inspire you.

Comments

Neeroc

Thanks for this, I work around the corner and was wondering how it was, but after my let down at Bambu was a bit afraid to try.

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@gadgetgirl_ca (Nov 23, 01:20 PM)
Read about Ottawa's newest Pho Thu Do location. Jenn's written a lovely piece: http://t.co/cbX85M30

p3jd@ddy

i would say the extra je ne sais quoi that i look for in pho that was missing is mainly was depth of flavor in the broth and perhaps the garnishes. many places just take stock broth and add very little. bonus for places that go the extra mile in the stock/consomme process including key: roasting the bones/marrow, right mix of herbs, balance the salting really goes a long way. i learned this from the street vendors in vietnam and thailand are fiercely competitive in broth quality for which most have their guarded secret ingredients and methods. try it out at home and you'll find you'll go out less LMAO!!!

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@Babyyums (Nov 23, 09:16 AM)
@foodiePrints foodiePrints First Impressions: Pho Thu Do at Riverside (new location) I will for sure check out this place :) excited now!!!

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@foodiePrints (Nov 23, 09:11 AM)
First Impressions: Pho Thu Do at Riverside (new location) http://t.co/M7qdlzbD

p3jd@ddy

good objective review don. pretty much bang on to my impressions as well. price point higher as rent at this prime hunt club/riverside location as with price points for bambu, shawarma planet, moxies, etc. the parking lots are full as well, so business is good.

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