If you want cheap eats near the Yonge/Bloor area, everyone knows (aside from fast food) that you’d just head over to Ginger. Alternatively, you can now head across the street to Hue’s Kitchen, which is a lot like Ginger. Well, I guess that’s probably because it’s owned by the same people. Hue’s Kitchen offers pretty much the same stuff Vietnamese/Thai cuisine that you can get across the street for roughly the same price. But they do have a few interesting additions to their menu. They offer butter chicken, caramel chicken, and even breakfast. But aside from a few sauce changes, it’s essentially the same stuff.
Antony, Tona, and myself decided to go check it out today and order a few different things from their menu that aren’t really offered at Ginger. I went with butter chicken served with naan and mango chutney. Antony went with the caramel chicken-mango, and Tona, decided to be brave and go with pad thai. I say ‘brave’ because everyone knows that Ginger’s pad thai isn’t the greatest. Actually, let me widen that statement — any pad thai in Toronto isn’t that greatest. Why? Because, everyone seems to use ketchup in it! Sara is actually on an ongoing hunt to find a place that doesn’t use ketchup in their pad thai.
Much like at Ginger, you’re given a numbered card stand to place on your table and wait for your food to be delivered. first came Antony’s caramel chicken-mango. First off, you may notice, it doesn’t really contain much “caramel” sauce on it. It didn’t really have much of a taste to it at all, oddly enough.
Second up was my butter chicken. The butter chicken uses the same pieces of chicken breast from every other meal on there, just that they’re smothered in butter chicken sauce. The sauce also doesn’t really taste that much like butter chicken sauce, but more like a thai curry. It was somewhat spicy. But hey, where’s my mango chutney?! I asked the cashier (as the flyer said “with mango chutney” while on the board up top, it made no mention of it) and she said that they removed it because of people not liking it that much. I can see why since I can only remember eating mango chutney with crunchy papadum which this meal doesn’t have. But the nice cashier brought me a side. Oddly enough, it also lacked rice. So you were just getting butter chicken with naan. The problem is there’s way too much soupy sauce to not have this with some rice, so you have to spent an extra $1.50 for some rice with the meal. Also, the butter chicken costs a staggering $9.50 while the other meals ranged from $6.50 to $7.50. I think $8.50 or even $7.95 would be more reasonable for the cost of it, but I guess I’m just a bit of a penny pincher.
Tona’s pad thai was ketchup-ey, as expected. I can’t say much more about it other than she wasn’t really a fan of it and found it to be a bit too greasy. I’ve had pad thai a few times at Ginger and I think if they just took out the ketchup, it would make it a heck of a lot better.
So if you’re looking for a fast and cheap place for lunch near the Yonge and Bloor area, then go ahead and give Hue’s Kitchen a try. I feel like they’re trying to go with more of a Spring Rolls type eat-in restaurant with the decor and design of the place but unfortunately the quality of the food just isn’t as high.
Average Price: $6 – $9 per entree
Hours: Opens at 7:30am for Breakfast (yes, breakfast)
Address: 774 Yonge St.
TTC Directions: Get off at Yonge/Bloor station, walk south half a block on the west side of Yonge