A downtown restaurant makes a multi-course Vietnamese classic.
In the mood to celebrate? Check out bò 7 món, a Vietnamese party dish made up of seven courses of beef.
Bò 7 món is a meat feast served at Vietnamese events. It denotes wealth, as beef can be pricy in Vietnam. Don’t bother inviting your vegetarian friends out for this one.
Kimbo, a Vietnamese restaurant across from Toronto Western Hospital at 358 Bathurst Street at Dundas Street West, looks like a dodgy strip club that hasn’t been redecorated since the 1960s. Their bò 7 món costs $25 for two people, and adding a portion for a third person brings the bill to $35.
The first course is the beef fondue (below). The staff bring out a boiling vinegar hot pot to the table on a grill that has been reconstructed with an old coat hanger. “Is this your first time?” the waiter innocently asks, before graciously showing us how to cook the meat and soak the rice paper. The result is a fresh-tasting wrap stuffed with mint leaves, basil, vermicelli, daikon, and carrot.
I feel a bit cheated when the waitress brings out a small tray of rolls and explains that this is the second, third, and fourth course. The tropical leaf roll is tightly wrapped with a leaf, like a cigar, and is covered in crushed peanuts. It tastes like a Middle Eastern kebab. The barbecue beef rolls, made of chopped up fat, beef, and vermicelli, were on the sweet side. The grilled satay beef roll is a slice of meat tying together many slices of potent onion.
Spice City Toronto explores Toronto’s great hole-in-the-wall restaurants and strip-mall joints serving food from all corners of the world.