There’s always one dish that jumps off a menu that screams “try it… if you dare.”
At Đa Kao, a new Vietnamese spot in West Edmonton, across the parking lot from the Terra Losa Safeway, it’s the Dragon Fruit Salad Rolls. So, my wife and I had to order them — and we went with the option of the pork filling. (You can also choose from chicken, beef, shrimp or tofu options.) The plate of pink rolls, with black specks, comes to the table with peanut sauce, and they’re really meals unto themselves, stuffed to the brim with noodles, vegetables and pork. The wrappers are chewy, and it feels like there’s an entire noodle bowl stuffed inside. If anything, I’m impressed by the heft of these things. It’s an ambitious appetizer for two, and really, if you’re dining alone, they will fill you up — unless you’re planning to pack some up to take home for later.
Đa Kao has a selection of báhn mí, pho and vermicelli bowls. My wife and I split the lemongrass beef báhn mí, which came on a nice soft baguette. The beef carried a lot of smoky, barbecue flavour. And, we also went with the 5-Colour Vermicelli Bowl, with barbecue beef, grilled shrimp, pork, chicken and spring roll. This is an awfully big bowl, and it was a challenge for two people to finish, let alone one. There is no skimping on the portions, here. The barbecue beef is the star of this, though, with a sweetness that comes when the sauce is perfectly charred to the meat. I let my wife have the spring roll because I don’t want to sleep at night with one eye open. The grilled shrimp and strips of pork came next, and it wasn’t long till all we had left was those last bits of noodles and carrots — you know, when they are soaked in that wonderful Vietnamese dipping sauce.
Which leads to the question: When you have a vermicelli bowl, do you dip your noodles in the sauce, or do you dump it in the bowl instead? I am a chronic dumper.
Đa Kao opened in late January, and it’s worth the visit — whether or not you need to go to the Safeway across the lot.
Terra Losa | 9750 170 St NW, Edmonton | 780.484.9348 | dakaobistro.ca
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