Asian Persuasion wanted pho for lunch. I let her pick the restaurant. Her boyfriend is Vietnamese and she lives close to International Ave, meaning she knows good pho. She said the best place in Chinatown for sate beef is Song Viet.
I don’t get as long of a lunch break as Asian Persuasion, so I told her I would meet her at the restaurant after she arrived with her friend Sonia and What’s Up Hamsup. Office Dad decided last minute to tag along. I told him I was going to text Asian Persuasion so we would have enough seats. He insisted that I only say I needed an extra seat for my purse and not to let them know he was coming. Sigh. After trying to reason with someone who refuses to listen, I sent Asian Persuasion a text asking for an extra seat for my purse.
When we arrived, Asian Persuasion was sitting at a table for four. She read the text but didn’t move to a bigger table because she could easily pull an extra chair for my purse, which she said is not so big it needs its own seat. I guess I’m no Theresa Woo-Paw. Kids, if you don’t remember this reference, read here for the story on Woo-Paw and how her purse got its own seat in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta.
I’m pretty sure Office Dad did this because he wanted to make a grand, dramatic entrance. I bet he pictured walking into a room where two young females would squeal with surprised delight at the unexpected sight of him. Instead, they just good-naturedly dragged their tea cups and pot over to larger table across the room.
We all ordered #64 – Hu Tieu Mi Sate Bo – which is spicy beef sate ($11). Song Viet is generous with the basil and sprouts. All the condiments – like the vegetables and lime were fresh and clean. The bowl wasn’t large but there was plenty of beef and noodles to fill you up. I have a big appetite and I was full. What makes this bowl special? The noodles are fresh and not dried. Song Viet buys their noodles daily. The sate is pea-nutty and spicy, but not so hot it makes you cough and sputter.
I visited a week later to try the regular pho and the shrimp salad rolls. I would stick to the sate beef pho. The rolls were premade and hard, without any herbs, with a plain hoison sauce. The regular pho was flavourless and the broth wasn’t hot enough. The second visit was a lot less impressive than my first visit.
Service is quick and the owners are nice. However, not all the dishes here are good. I’d stick to the sate beef pho.