Basil Ultimate Pho
2770 32nd Ave. N.E.,
Rating: 3 ½ out of 5
Time in: 12:55 p.m.
Time out: 1:36 p.m.
Low $: Spring rolls, $5.95
High $: Sate vermicelli combo, $12.95
The former owners of Pho Dau Bo satiate old regulars and new devotees in this spacious, modern, and open-kitchen Vietnamese eatery.
Basil’s pho (Vietnam’s signature comfort soup noodles) is superb. The basic broth is clear and full of flavour — a result of hours of simmering beef bones with star anise, cinnamon, and ginger — but not oily or laden with MSG.
Bowls are one size only — large. The house combo pho ($8.50) features quality cuts of steak, flank, tendon, tripe, and beef balls, mixed with your addition of bean sprouts, basil and chili peppers.
Beef sate pho ($9.50) is the best I’ve found in the city so far. While others serve a watery chili oil base, Basil’s creamy sate soup has a more balanced mix of heat and peanut sauce for a complex kick.
With speedy service (well under 10 minutes from ordering to food arriving), Basil also offers spring rolls, banh mi (subs) and other noodle and rice dishes.