Lovely Asian soup in Montreal -- But what's it called?
March 23, 2013 4:57 PM   Subscribe

Agh! I've just come back from Montreal and I've already forgotten the name of this Asian soup that is everywhere. It seems to be at Thai restaurants as well I think as (other) Asian places and I wanted to look it up and see what's in it because I didn't get a chance to try it. I remember it had "aise" as the last bit (I know that's not THAT helpful) and was, as I said, just everywhere, at least in the theatre district and Chinatown. I think it may be Tom Yum or something of that ilk. It looked somewhat related. I think it had noodles. Can someone help? I'm sure this is a very easy question if you're actually in Montreal. Thanks!
posted by supercoollady to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Oh, that's soupe Tonkinoise. The best of which are the subject of a Montreal blog here.
posted by thisclickableme at 5:10 PM on March 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: AKA pho. If you'd like to read about pho in Montreal in English, here are Bartek Komorowski and the Shut Up and Eat guy writing about it.
posted by zadcat at 5:17 PM on March 23, 2013

Best answer: Pho is amazing stuff. It's Vietnamese and I heartily recommend you find a place to try it.

One of my most memorable meals last year was a bowl of pho on a face-breakingly cold winter's day. It's good on not-freezing days as well though, as evidenced by the population of Vietnam.
posted by smirkette at 6:02 PM on March 23, 2013

Best answer: (Pronounced to rhyme with "duh", not pronounced like "foe".)
posted by Houstonian at 7:28 PM on March 23, 2013

Best answer: Pretty much every Canadian city has killer phở. Even Edmonton can manage it, and it's no town for a foodie.
posted by scruss at 8:50 PM on March 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Wonderful, thanks! I had always thought Pho was in the family of "things over rice in a bowl" so I'm happily surprised! Weirdly I remembered the name early this morning when I was just waking up but this extra info is very much appreciated.
posted by supercoollady at 8:05 AM on March 24, 2013

Response by poster: Now, one more (bonus) question. I'm one of those people who doesn't eat pork, beef, etc., but DOES eat creatures from the sea. Is there a version of Pho, one I can get at a a restaurant in Montreal, that would not have "land meat" in it? And if not, is there another soup that's kind of like it that I might enjoy? Extra bonus: Is there a vegetarian version? And extra-extra bonus: Is there a vegetarian version that DOESN'T have wild mushrooms (specifically shitakes)?

I used to be an epic meat eater and since I stopped a few years ago I've really been suffering from lack of Asian soup.

Thank you again. You're all wonderful.
posted by supercoollady at 8:13 AM on March 24, 2013

For vegetarian pho, apparently the term to look for is pho chay. Made with chicken, it's pho ga. Seafood pho is less common — look for pho hai san.

supercoollady: " I used to be an epic meat eater and since I stopped a few years ago I've really been suffering from lack of Asian soup. "

Oh, yes. *mournful sigh*
posted by Lexica at 11:21 AM on March 24, 2013

I had conch-meat pho that was yumtastic when I lived in Montreal. But I suspect it was an off-menu (or not-on-the-white-folks-menu) item, as my Chinese buddy stopped me from opening the menu and ordered it in Cantonese. Don't recall which Chinatown pho shop it was, however.
posted by CKmtl at 7:06 PM on March 24, 2013

The resto at 84 La Gauchetière West, which has had various names and is still listed as the Maison Guangzhou most places but has a different name on the sign now – there's a neon dragon in the window – has at least one seafood noodle soup on the menu. I think most Cantonese places do. It might be a bit heavy on the crabstick but I've had it multiple times and it was fine.

I know I've had a soup with reconstituted dried scallops at the Fung Shing around on the Main, quite some time ago, but they don't change their menus often, and some of these things are probably Cantonese standbys. Have a look at the menu of the Hong Kong too if you're down there.

Cantonese resto menus tend to be huge and complicated, and you may have to look under soups OR seafood OR noodles to find these things.

Vietnamese places do seem to lean a lot on the beef and chicken so I have no suggestions in that area. But I'm pretty sure I've seen seafood soups on some Thai menus so you might check out that option too. The new ramen restos are also a possibility - there's one upstairs in Chinatown in the same stretch as the Hong Kong and the Pho Cali, and a trendy one over on Bishop I think, but I have yet to embark on eating restaurant ramen because I still think of it as something you get in a cellophane package for a dollar.
posted by zadcat at 10:44 PM on March 26, 2013

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