This being the last day in May, it seems fitting to comment on my favourite dining experience (in Toronto) of the month. I didn’t really know that there was a distinction between Northern and Southern Vietnamese food until I visited hanoi 3 seasons. This place is the stuff of legend… past, present and future.
I had been reading that hanoi 3 seasons distanced itself from the rest by offering-up a number of House Specials (Nha Hang’s Dac San) that can be found nowhere else in the city. I order the Cha Ca ($12.00) which boasts large pieces of Grouper, tossed in Shrimp Paste and Dill, and then deep-fried and served atop Vermicelli & Salad or Soup. I am glad to have chosen the former so as not to make the entire dish soggy. Pierogi-sized pieces of fish… flaky, spicy, dilly. Other stand-outs include the Ga Xao Rau Cai ($10.50), an aromatic serving of Garlic Chicken tossed amongst stir-fried Bok Choy on Jasmine Rice…. Also, the Pho-Chay ($8.50) is a Sweet-Potato-based soup with Mixed Veggies and mock Seafood. Pho with faux Shrimp. Amazing!
With its cheap eats, Leslieville location, back patio and $5 Vietnamese beers, hanoi 3 seasons is an absolute diamond in the rough. It’s obvious why it’s gaining popularity. They have a co-lo (588 Gerrard St E.)… meaning more than one place to grab my new-found favourite Vietnamese food in the city. I propose a large group of us go and take over their bamboo back patio some time soon. Who’s in?
hanoi 3 seasons is cash-only, btw