I recently went to Royal Thai Bistro for the first time, at the recommendation of some of my Twitter buddies. Feeling a little peaky, I really was in the mood for pho, but didn’t want to drive all the way to my favorite pho spots (Pho V&V or Pho King).
Browsing their menu online, I saw they had beef noodle soup. Consider me intrigued. I’d never seen beef noodle soup on a Thai restaurant’s menu before.
I ordered it take-out, brought it home and was pleasantly surprised. First of all, it’s a huge portion if you order it take-out. I’ve since been back to the restaurant and ordered it eating in, and it was probably half the size. When you order it take-out, you get a full soup container of broth and herbs, and a full container of noodles. Let’s just say I ate it out of a mixing bowl, and it was a good four servings.
The soup has a deep, rich beef broth — more unctuous and flavorful than any pho I’ve ever had. I keep comparing the soup to pho, but it really isn’t the same thing. The noodles in Royal Thai Bistro’s soup are more akin to the rice noodles in pad Thai. When you order, they ask you the level of spice you’d like (as opposed to pho, where you add your own). The broth is laden with cilantro, crushed peanuts, some bean sprouts and lots of quality beef. I’m not entirely sure the exact cut of beef they use, but it’s a higher quality than you’d normally get in pho. It’s more of a tender steak.