The journey to taste every EGOC in the city continues at Hoang Long, West Edmonton Mall!
It was a frigid Edmonton day that saw us headed to the big mall (-32 degrees eek!) After a morning spent frolicking at the indoor waterpark, we had worked up quite an appetite. I convinced some friends to haul their brood up to the second floor to sample the green onion cakes at Hoang Long. 4 adults and 4 kiddos would make for a very messy time!
I had already prepped myself for poor service (as is often the case when we head out in those kinds of numbers). The food can never come out fast enough when you have starving toddlers pawing at you.
The decor was very inviting! They had obviously undergone a major reno since the last time I had been inside (over 5 years ago now).
The assortment of gelatos welcoming us was giving me something to look forward to if our crew could hold it together long enough.
We attempted to order quickly. Our hostess had graced us with only 2 menus for the lot of us which slowed us down considerably. Rather than wait for more, we quickly settled on some pho, spring rolls and lemongrass chicken on rice. Our guests ordered a Thai Salad (Thai at a Vietnamese restaurant?) and a Thai Noodle Coconut Soup. Two orders of very pricey green onion cakes ($9.00 per order) completed the meal.
Everything kind of fell apart from here. The green onion cakes came out first along with one order of pho and the Thai soup. I should mention here that I am no germaphobe, but the way the EGOC was presented left a bad taste in my mouth. The dish containing the sweet chili sauce was perched ATOP the green onion cake. Personally I prefer it on the side.
The cake was of the deep fried variety common in Vietnamese restaurants, and it was completely underdone.
I bit into it anyway (taking one for the team!). As I suspected, it tasted so doughy I could barely evaluate the salt and green onion levels. Upon closer examination, I discovered a fine black hair baked into the cake. Kinda gross, but I removed it and continued doing my job. But what now? What is this??? Three more bites in and I discover a HAIR BALL!!!
This without exception is the grossest thing I have ever had happen to me at a restaurant. I dropped the EGOC and called over the waiter. He didn’t seem to “get” my issue so he called over the manager. Her excuse: “We don’t make them in-house! We buy them frozen from a company so it is not our fault.”
Pretty lame customer service. But I’m not here to judge the restaurant remember? She tells me she will make me another one. I decline and stop eating EVERYTHING else. My friends also sent back theirs. Thank god this was not their first EGOC experience!
After waiting another 30 minutes for the rest of order (which we didn’t touch), the whole thing ran us over $70 bucks! Not wanting to prolong this journey any longer, we paid up and jammed. Our only sweet satisfaction was the disaster the toddlers had left in our wake.
If you find yourself in the big mall and are craving an EGOC I strongly suggest giving Hoang Long a miss. A stone’s throw away you can have one at Pho Hoa (in T&T Supermarket) and a few of the Chinese kiosks offer them in the multitude of food courts.
1 out of 5 stars …the system won’t let me give it a zero 🙁