Ah… East Hastings… An area I use to frequent but, ever since I quit Magic, I haven’t dropped by at all. It is not that there is something wrong. There are some good grocery shopping places, like Freybee’s outlet store (at Hastings and Victoria) if you are looking for cold cuts or sausages, Donald’s Market is a good option (Hastings and Nanaimo). And then there are “unique” eating places like Bao Chau and Seri Malaysia. Could it be traffic in the area? I don’t know. However, by pure sheer of events, PO and I ended up in that area and I “suggested” we give Le Do a try.
When we arrived, actually other options were considered. For example, Red Wagon which opened recently, as well as the before mentioned Seri Malaysia. However, I chose to visit this place in the end because it has been on my list for quite some time and felt I had to do so. Despite we arrived at the later parts of lunch time, the restaurant wasn’t packed full. But, then again, it was a weekday…
I just realized an odd trend of mine: When in Asian restaurants, I seldom order drinks and fall back into tea/water. Could it be that, for general consumption, it works well? Or because, somehow, when in Western type restaurants, there is that odd need to drink anything else aside from water? Regardless if this is true or not, PO ordered a drink. OK, I will admit I didn’t get the name correctly – salted lemon drink? Just as the name suggests, this slightly salty, a bit citrus-y but overall refreshing. Not something I would have ordered but, regardless, it was interesting on its own terms due to the combination of basic tastes.
To share, we ordered Goi Cuon (or was it Nem Cuon?). In a way, I was distracted when ordering and it could have been the later. The difference in terms of the item in the menu? Both are salad rolls, the former being prawns and pork and the later being listed as “patties pork”. Regardless of the name, it had some nice pieces of sausage-like pork but they were muted by all the rice noodles. The greens inside didn’t help much. Had it had from fragrant herbs – like Thai basil – it would have been better. However, in this case… It was just OK.
In retrospect, had the description been more… Interesting (?), I would have gone for the Le Do Spicy Roll – 1 piece of spring roll wrap with noodle, lettuce and cucumber (spicy). Why? Because the description does not necessarily make it enticing enough! So, what is in this roll? OK, I will let fmed explain it to your here.
Moving to the pho, PO ordered dish #3 from their menu, Pho Tai Bo Vien – rare beef plus beef balls. For the most park, he thought it was OK, not necessarily the best he has had but it got the job done. But, there was something that he kept sort of complaining: the beef wasn’t rare! I guess next time he should order the rare beef on a side so that the soup does not start to cook it… Regardless, it looked like the basic pho so I will trust in his judgement… And, as for myself…
Bun Bo Hue. The first notable? The cabbage. To my understanding, this is something that is added in-lieu of banana blossom. The only other place I recall having this served? Tràng Tiên in Edmonton… Given that Edmonton has better Vietnamese food than Vancouver, I will welcome that addition. As for the rest of the bowl… Well, it sort of went sideways. The basic meats were there but not more unusual suspects like pork knuckles or congealed pork blood. The broth felt more on the lines of the basic pho broth with some hot sauce like oil added on top. But, alas, not spicy at all. The one credit I will give them was that it had some lemongrass flavour to it. However, that didn’t really make it stand out to some other more basic bun bo hue in other places.
After the meal, PO and I compared some notes and, overall, it felt… Average? Sorry, probably I ordered the wrong dishes or it wasn’t necessarily the best time of the day. Regardless, what we ordered didn’t necessarily wow us and left of wanting more. Probably I should go back and try something else? But, if I do so… What? In the meantime, I will just leave it as a maybe