My friend J and I met up for dinner a while ago and decided to have Vietnamese because it was easy, quick, cheap and super tasty! It was a hot day and Song Huong either does not have AC or a very poor one because it was hot and stuffy in the restaurant – more so than outside but we still enjoyed our meal.
We decided to share a few appetizers and get our own mains cause we were in the mood for lots of variety.
The Raw Beef Salad in Lime Sauce ($12.50) was brought to the table first and our faces immediately lit up when we tasted it. I know what you’re thinking – raw beef at a hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese restaurant…probably not the best idea right? But I assure you it is one of the best damn things I’ve tasted all year. Don’t worry, it’s fresh and we didn’t get sick from eating it. This salad is like an explosion of flavor – sweet, salty, sour, spicy all in one and perfectly balanced with the beef, onions, Thai basil,crispy shallots and peanuts. This dish is a MUST order – trust me, you’ll thank me!
Next up were the Spring Rolls (3 for $4). J had mentioned when we ordered these that they’re not the typical spring rolls that you find at other Vietnamese restaurants. I assumed that they were the kind wrapped in rice paper like how they’re traditionally made. I was quite looking forward to these as my mom used to make this variety of Cha Gio when I was younger but ever since the introduction of the easy-peel spring roll wrappers she never uses rice paper anymore. I was quite disappointed when these were set down because they didn’t look like what I was expecting at all. These spring rolls were huge and then cut up in pieces so it was easier to eat. The flavor of the filling was good but since they were so big I found them to be a bit soggy. I wish they made them smaller and kept them whole instead.
The last appetizer to arrive were the Pork and Shrimp Tapioca Dumplings with Vietnamese Ham ($6.25). We really enjoyed these especially the chewy texture of the dumplings – it was like eating tapioca pearls. The filling consists of ground pork and shrimp. I did wish that the filling was a bit more chopped up cause some pieces of shrimp and ground pork were quite large but it was still a great dish nonetheless.
J ordered the Pho Dac Biet ($5.95) for her main and polished off the whole thing. It must’ve been good!
I went with their famous Bun Bo Hue ($6.95) and also managed to finish the whole bowl. We must’ve been hungry in that day! The bun bo hue was slightly spicy and filled with beef shank, pork balls, pig’s blood and Vietnamese ham . The broth was a bit lighter than what I’m used to but still good. I liked that they provided the correct type of vegetables for this dish. It really enhances the overall flavor of the dish.
The service is on par with other Vietnamese restaurants where you order and they bring you the food when it’s ready. This restaurant is definitely worth trying, particularly because it offers many authentic dishes that are not normally available elsewhere.
1704 61 St Southeast
Calgary, AB T2A 4V5