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A steaming bowl of Vietnamese Pho is one of my favourite dishes of all time. The mix of hot broth, slurpy rice noodles, crunchy bean sprouts, sharp raw scallions and succulent beef is the perfect combination for my taste buds.

One of Toronto’s great bowls can be found at the Golden Turtle Restaurant, aka Rua Vang (125 Ossington Ave.). I usually go for #1 – the traditional Raw Beef Noodle Soup, but on this day I stepped it up to #2 – Raw Beef and Beef Ball Noodle Soup (small $5.25, large $5.75, x-large $7) and felt the delicious flavours travel down my throat and warm my tummy.

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While it’s up there, I wouldn’t go as far to say Golden Turtle’s got the best pho in the city. Legend has it this is one of Susur Lee‘s favourite joints, but I’ve never heard a first-hand account from someone who’s actually seen him dine here.

The one thing Golden Turtle does better than most is the broth — it’s clear, rich and not overly salty. And a good broth can make or break a bowl of pho. However, on some occasions I’ve experienced tougher than desired beef, which definitely obstructs this restaurant from taking the city’s pho crown.

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As soon as your bowl of pho arrives, make sure to garnish it immediately. From the accompanying plate, squeeze in some lime, throw in a handful or two of bean sprouts and tear up some Thai basil to mix into the soup. You’ll definitely need a generous squirt of Hoisin Sauce (I call it “the brown sauce” because the Chinese Hoisin Sauce I’m used to tastes different from this one). And make sure to add some heat with the smooth, red Sriracha Sauce (aka the Rooster Sauce, thanks to the illustration on the bottle).

Just be warned, while the soup will get spicier as you get to the bottom, you will likely get sadder. While a bowl of pho is incredibly satisfying, you always yearn for just a little bit more.

Are you a fan of pho too? Leave a comment and tell us what makes your favourite spot so special.

Rua Vang Golden Turtle / 125 Ossington Ave., Toronto
416 531 1601

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