Though I miss the accessibility of greenspace, my new office building provides many walkable lunch options in Chinatown. And on a day when a power outage pointed to the definite detriment of not having a window in my room, it seemed the perfect opportunity to patronize my restaurant neighbours.
The wait at Thanh Thahn Oriental Noodle House was five parties deep at 12:30pm, so I wandered over instead to my second choice – Hoang Long (10715 98 Street).
This was my first visit to the eight month old location (Hoang Long has three locations in Edmonton). The peripheral tables were occupied, but the dining area was surprisingly quiet and mellow, in stark contrast to the bustle and crash of Thanh Thanh. At that point, I knew I made the right choice – I was craving a quiet space to settle in with my daily paper.
The decor of this Hoang Long was surprisingly similar to Thanh Thanh, actually, minus the fish tank. Clean, with natural light, the furnishing were still fairly new. I liked the sleek black tables with hinged extensions, perfect as a work or, in my case, a reading surface.
I knew from experience not to have the Pad Thai again, so went straight for their Northern Vietnam Noodle Soup with rare beef ($7.95). It was a rainy trek from my office, and next to chicken noodle soup, I find that nothing warms from the inside as well as a hot bowl of beef broth.
Ten minutes later, my order was brought to me with a side of bean sprouts, mint, and various sauces. Though cilantro wasn’t present, I was so aghast at the sheer size of the bowl that I hardly noticed. Between the silky-slick rice noodles, savoury, chewy slices of beef, and rich, from-scratch broth, I left Hoang Long feeling full, warmed-through, and thoroughly satisfied.
With expedient, no-nonsense service and good food, Hoang Long may become a go-to restaurant for me in the future.
Northern Vietnam Noodle Soup with rare beef