Address: 1208 Bloor Street, Toronto (map)
Date & time of visit: January 25, 2013 + 6:30pm
Price (based on deluxe pho): Small – $6.95; Large – $7.95
Broth: 6.5 | Beef: 5 | Noodle: 5.5 | Condiment: 7.5 | Service/atmosphere: 8 | Overall: 6.5
Broth: 5 | Beef: 5 | Noodle: 4 | Condiment: 7 | Service/atmosphere: 7 | Overall: 5.6
Broth: 6.5 | Beef: 5.5 | Noodle: 8 | Condiment: 7.5| Service/atmosphere: 8 | Overall: 7.1
Broth: 7.5 | Beef: 7.5 | Noodle: 7.5 | Condiment: 7.5 | Service/atmosphere: 8 | Overall: 7.6
Overall Rating: 6.7
Quality per dollar (based on large pho): .84
Write-up from Jason:
In the midst of a classic Toronto snowstorm, the intrepid phodown gang trekked ever westward on Bloor. Our goal: a steaming bowl of redemption. And maybe some summer rolls.
Pho Jade is a mirage.
By night, Pho Jade shines. Like a beacon, people are drawn to it. Sparkling new, with an eager and inviting staff, we were ready to end our pilgrimage and pay homage to the god of Vietnamese beef noodle soup.
Pho Jade is a false idol.
Safely tucked in at a large booth we awaited redemption. Anne order spring rolls that came out soggy and plain. Sierra had a Corona that came out like a Corona. A mango smoothie tasted of fresh mango. That was a highlight.
At last the pho arrived. Giant bowls warmed our spirits (the heat wasn’t on high enough in the frigid restaurant, so this was a relief). That’s where the fun ended.
Maybe it was chill in the air, but the raw beef never fully cooked, ending up pale and listless. The well-done brisket had the opposite problem, crumbling into mealy nothingness. The broth was not much better, salty and bland. Perhaps the biggest culprit was the noodles. For one, there were simply too many, taking over the bowl in an assault Rommel would have admired. Much worse was the fact that they were well overcooked – a feat given the restaurant chilled the pho nearly instantly.
To add insult to injury: Sierra found a rogue cauliflower in her pho.