It was one warm Autumn’s evening we had a rather long and tiring week and decided something comforting yet nourishing was needed to revitalise us and soothe our appetites – the words Vietnamese Pho sprang to mind and my companion wholeheartedly agreed (especially as he had been a victim of the flu) With that in mind we set off for West End. Having been to Trang’s we felt it was time to try the other Vietnamese establishments along Hardgrave Road, with its bright lights and the din of bustling diners, Quan Thanh immediately caught our attention.
What is interesting about Quan Thanh though is that it is a Chinese and Vietnamese Restaurant occupying two separate store fronts of the arcade. For that night we had only one thing in mind – Vietnamese pho. Whilst the Vietnamese side of Quan Thanh did not have any spare tables, our waiter seated us on the Chinese side and provided us the appropriate menus.
Water was promptly offered to us as we perused the menus.
For our dinner that night we ordered a Sliced Beef Rare Noodle Soup with extra noodles, BBQ Pork Wonton Noodle Soup and a side of Grilled Marinated Shredded Pork Rice Paper Wraps. Without fail, the order of Pho came the usual sides and additions. With our recent trips to Vietnamese establishments my companion had developed new found appreciation for the fact the sides were separated from the main bowl of noodles.
Our first dish to arrive was the Sliced Rare Beef Noodle Soup. As you can see the serving was generous and with the extra pho very inviting. The ingredients were fresh and I could see the soup was quite clear. The noodles were soft without being overdone and the beef was not overcooked, but I would have enjoyed it if it were more tender. I felt the flavours of the soup erred on the side of light, but the contrast of the fresh onions and coriander made it refreshing and yet comforting.
Our second dish was the Sliced BBQ Pork Wonton Noodle Soup. As you can see there was a generous serving of chives and spring onions. Much to my companion’s delight the noodles were surprisingly balanced in firmness and the rounded taste. Whilst slightly different from a Hong Kong styled Wonton Soup my companion felt the soup was a bit too salty. However, we both enjoyed the wontons, my companion noted the skin could have been softer while I would have liked to see some more greens in the filling. Overall we both enjoyed the dish and provided a good contrast to Pho.
Our final dish for the night was a side of Grilled Marinated Shredded Pork Rice Paper Wraps, I liked the texture of the pork but felt the balance between ingredients and rice noodles could be improved by adding more greens and pork. My companion noted the wraps were more generous in serving size but none the less preferred DIY to pre made. Well fed and refreshed, and with our cravings for Vietnamese pho sated, we could say we enjoyed our experience at Quan Thanh. The clean and simple décor gave us the environment to enjoy a good comforting meal, coupled with the generous servings, Quan Thanh is a solid choice for Vietnamese cuisine.