Our friends came over for a small party for New Year’s Eve. We followed the province’s gathering restrictions (updated December 21) for indoor social gatherings. I kept the number below the maximum limit of 10 people, and the six of us were well over the age of 18. Furthermore, everyone was double vaccinated, boosted up, and tested negative for Covid. For this post, let’s listen to “What Are You Doing Near Year’s Eve” by Ella Fitzgerald.
We snacked and sipped the night away. Zuber popped open his favourite champagne – Taittinger. Sirski followed suit with Bollinger. I opened up a bottle of wine from Kournikova’s favourite winery – Ex Nihilo.
My friends live blocks away from me, so I wanted to give them something hot and nourishing before they walked home in the -21 weather. For our late-night snack, I ordered Pot au Pho (gluten-free, spicy broth $60) from Pure Modern Asian Kitchen and Bar.
I brought out my hot pot burner near the end of the night. I boiled water for the noodles on one half of the pot, which I requested uncooked to make it fresh for my guests. I simmered the brisket, beef balls, tendon, and beef ribs on the other half. At the very last moment, I slipped in the raw slices of beef.
My pictures don’t do the food justice, so I’m stealing one from Pure’s Instagram post. Ah, that’s so much better, isn’t it?
The broth was thick, heavy with rich beefy notes. The broth is a meal in itself. I looked up from my bowl to see everyone’s head down, joyfully slurping up this soupy goodness. Zuber raved about the pho and said this was an excellent idea to end the night.
Kournikova only indulged in a tiny bowl with no noodles. She enjoyed all the meats, basil, and crunchy bean sprouts. Sirski and Québécois avoided my favourite meat – the beef rib. What? That’s the best part! I love the soft meat and the gelatinous bits around the rib. The tendon was soft and melted in my mouth. Québécois loves cilantro, and she knows I hate the herb. She was surprised and appreciative that I didn’t nix the obnoxious herb from my order. I accidentally got some cilantro and gagged a little. What I won’t do for my friends.
Pho au Pho was a hit! I would order pho again in a heartbeat. It’s the perfect ender for the last freezing cold day in 2021. Everyone left warm and content, and ready for 2022.