One of my favourite things about Calgary is that you really can’t throw something without hitting a Vietnamese Restaurant. When the craving for pho, or bun is just so strong, you don’t have to travel to the moon and back for satisfaction.
My personal favourite, because it was the first time I ever tried Vietnamese and hasn’t failed me since, is Mihn Chau in Inglewood. But, to be honest, I’ve never had Vietnamese anywhere in this town that turned me off.
I work in the southeast of the southeast and luckily, right near by, is TOA Vietnamese in the new East Hills shopping area.
TOA still has that new car smell, and is hella tidy. Always busy during the lunch rush, I imagine that’s their money maker as East Hills isn’t exactly smack dab in the middle of a suburb … yet.
Usually I call ahead and bring TOA back to work with me where I hunch over my desk stuffing my face with noodles and reading a book. But on this particular day, a co-worker and I dined in.
What first caught my eye, was the lovely table setting. Maybe I’m just a sucker for tidiness but this was oddly stirring to my blood.
We both went with the special of the day. Sate shrimp, chicken and beef with spring roll and a drink for about $14 (full disclosure: I can’t remember the exact price but it was a really good deal).
The dish in itself was a winner, but the shrimp really stole the show. Grilled to perfection and delightfully seasoned, I could of polished off a bowl of shrimp alone. Nice balance of all the flavours and a few hits of hoisin really made this a keeper. If anything, the only downfall to the dish was though it was labeled sate, it wasn’t nearly spicy enough for my personal liking.