Dining at an ethnic restaurant is supposed to transport diners to the exotic country of the cuisine’s origin.
Most of the time they do not.
The end result is palate numbing combination of forgettable fusion and perpetual fortune cookies with traditional recipes being tailored to suit Western palettes. Huong Lan Vietnamese Restaurant however is the rare exception.
Every country has at least one signature dish. A culinary speciality that’s evocative of a country’s rich cultural history. While it can be argued that poutine is Canada’s signature, Vietnam’s is pho (beef noodle soup). The dish dates back to the French occupation of Vietnam in the early 1900s, up until which time cattle were mainly used for labour and not as a source of meat. Resourceful chefs utilized this new ingredient, simmered down the remaining beef bones with oxtail, ginger, charred onions, and spices, and pho was born. Continue reading →