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Restaurants

Hanoi Bistro

Posted by Paul / Listed on May 15, 2008 / review policy

Hanoi BistroAfter a long day spent working in the studio up in the giant pixelated box that is OCAD, there's nothing I enjoy more than grabbing a hearty, tasty, and affordable bowl of special Hanoi-style pho at Hanoi Bistro. Sure, I have my favourite pho spots closer to home (usually Pho Hung or Saigon Palace), but Hanoi Bistro has truly become a tasty little Vietnamese sanctuary closer to school. And judging from all the filled seats at lunch time, many others seem to share the same sentiment as well.

Hanoi Bistro Front
Having only opened a little over a year ago, Hanoi Bistro has already managed to find its true fit in the eclectic mish-mash of restaurants that is Baldwin Street. Offering classic Vietnamese favourites like spring rolls, delicious fruit shakes, and a variety of different kinds of pho, they have quickly become a local lunch time favourite for those who live and work in the area.

Hanoi Bistro Iced Espresso
I started off this particular visit with my usual glass of iced espresso and condensed milk. Since living off of several of these a day on a trip to Vietnam a couple years ago, I have yet to find a drink more satisfying in the summer. Of course, in the winter, the hot version isn't all too shabby either.

Hanoi Bistro Fresh Shrimp Rolls
Up next were the fresh shrimp rolls. An amazingly simply dish, but somehow some places still manage to screw this one up by exaggerating portions or wrapping the rolls too loosely. Well I'm happy to report that Hanoi Bistro is not one of these places. A nice combination of flavours and textures in a roll that manages to stay together quite nicely even after biting into it.

Hanoi Bistro Special Pho
Finally, what is quickly becoming my all time favorite bowl of Vietnamese noodle soup in the city: Pho Dac Biet Sot Vang... or what they simply refer to as "Hanoi Bistro Special Rice Noodle Soup". This slightly heartier and richer take on the classic pho soup comes packed with a load of thin rice noodles and thick cuts of moist beef (cooked in white wine), all served in a rich beef broth with cilantro and green onions. Though their standard pho offerings are still right on the money, this particular Hanoi-style take on the dish always leaves me soothed and satisfied just a little bit more than the rest.

All in all, I'd definitely recommend giving this place a try if you haven't already. The owners are friendly, the place is clean, the food is spot on, and if you manage to grab a table by the window you'll have a lovely second floor view of the Baldwin strip below.

Discussion

8 Comments

apetimberlake / May 15, 2008 at 10:31 am
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Wow.
I have never seen PHO so dark before.
Did you add hoison and hot sauce before you took the shot?
rocketeer / May 15, 2008 at 01:07 pm
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While I do like Hanoi Bistro, those spring rolls are nothing to write home about. I ordered them only once and remember feeling cheated because the shrimps on top were deceptively halved lengthwise and the filling was mostly just vermicelli with only little bit of carrot or something to that effect. Blandest rolls I think I've ever had.
Paul / May 15, 2008 at 01:16 pm
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apetimberlake: I took the shot before adding the hoisin and hot sauce. I'm not exactly sure what makes the broth that dark, but I'm assuming maybe this particular soup has been reduced longer over the heat and perhaps has had some of the beef drippings added after deglazing.

rocketeer: It would seem everyone looks for different things in these cold spring rolls. I have some friends who have said the same thing as you. I guess I just prefer is to be as simple and clean as possible, as opposed to the deep fried variety where I expect loads of different flavours all throughout.
vietboi / June 10, 2008 at 08:29 pm
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Pho actually originates form Hanoi. So Hanoi-style pho should be as authentic as you can get with pho. They don't do the mass amount of added herbage us southerners like, but neither south or north use white wine in their pho. What's with the sauce? Is it plum sauce? Nah dude....nuoc mam is where its at yo. Or better yet peanut dipping sauce....no plum sauce, save that for your chinese take out.
Leo / July 2, 2008 at 01:17 pm
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Have been to Hanoi Bistro a couple of times now. We really like it there. Baldwin Village is a nice little area and we prefer going there than fighting through the crowds and chaos of downtown Chinatown. It is easy to get to using the Subway and walking from the Subway Station.

The pho is delicious. We have also had the chicken dishes there and they were great too. Their shakes are yummy! I have tried the mango and soursop shakes.

I thought their fresh spring rolls were great. Clean, and tasted like they were made on the spot rather than stored in a fridge for a few hours.

Prices are very reasonable and you definitely leave on a full stomach.

I would recommend this place!!
Iknowfood / January 19, 2009 at 08:34 pm
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Pho sucked.
gerda wirick / January 25, 2010 at 05:08 pm
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my friend and i found this restaurant and enjoyed our time there very much. the food was simply delicious and the prices very reasonable.
we would go back anytime. the spring rolls were the best. the hospitality of the owner added to the experience. we had a lovely evening and we decided to visit vietnam as a result.... at the next opportunity.
R / April 27, 2010 at 12:09 am
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Hanoi Bistro is the best Vietnamese restuarant I've been too. It's kind of hard to notice this place because it's on top of a laundrymat. The fresh rolls were great. I had mine with the peanut sauce. The spring rolls were amazing, it's the best I ever had. I would recommend this place to anyone. The fruit shakes were yummy n I had mine with rum too. It's a really nice n clean place. The prices are cheap n they give u alot of food too. I tried almost everything on thier meun n I got to say I joined everything.

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