After doing a little more home shopping at IKEA, we drove to Scarborough for a late lunch at Bong Lua, a family-run Vietnamese restaurant. Many people consider Bong Lua to be the top best in Scarborough and one of the best in the GTA. I was told that their bún riêu (crab and tomato vermicelli soup) is the best (it is one of the popular choice at the restaurant), and being one of my ultimate comfort dish, I wanted to try.
Located in the Huntingwood Square plaza, Bong Lua is one of the spots that appear to be busy any hour of the day. It doesn’t matter whether it’s peak lunch or dinner hour, there is a line for a table.
However, we discover the wait to be also contributed to the extremely slow service and quite frankly, the staff doesn’t seem to care if there’s people lining up and empty tables with remnants of previous customers still on the tables. They are going to take their sweet ass time cleaning the tables and attending to other customers before they get to seating you.
It was frustrating seeing tables that need to be cleaned, but you’re still waiting. I almost wanted to walk out, thinking f*ck this. But, I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt because there was only two people working the floors.
When we were finally seated, given menu, choosing what to order (bún riêu for me, of course), getting attention from someone to take order was also frustrating.
Phở lắc xả bò – Laksa style beef and tofu in spicy lemongrass coconut curry soup. Also available in chicken (gà). Bò is beef. My brother said it’s spicy, but his spice tolerance is high. He added some sriracha…
Bún riêu – sweet and sour crab soup with vermicelli. Out of all the bún riêu I’ve had at restaurants, this one is indeed the best (my mom’s the best by default). It doesn’t have the artificial seafood flavour; there’s a balance of sweetness from the crab meat and it’s not too sour. There also half a blue crab in the soup that you can try to get some meat out of.
Too bad that it is out of the way for us; food was really good, but we consider it not worth the drive for slow, frustrating service. If it’s a matter of being under staff, the easiest fix is to hire more staff.
Bong Lua Vietnamese Restaurant
2572 Birchmount Rd.