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Restaurant review: Triple Coconut Tree

By Sherman Chan,
Special to The Post
 
Sometimes you need to visit a restaurant more than once to get a true sense of the food, flavour and service. My most recent restaurant revisit was to Triple Coconut Tree. My original experience was underwhelming and I had every intention of eating there again, but call it the "it's too close to my house" syndrome. Finally, I made the trip with a friend.
Although a bit murky and cloudy, the Pho broth itself was mild and mostly sweet. I did not think the individual flavours were pronounced enough, as the taste was more muddled than clean. However, I did like the temperature of the broth. It was scorching hot which ensured that both the rare beef and sprouts were somewhat cooked. On the topic of the beef, the modest amount in the pho was very tender. The noodles were nice and chewy without being clumpy. 
My friend ordered the Pho Ga, and with just one sip of the broth, it was apparent that they had dumped a lot of MSG into the pho. It was very sweet and flavourful. I did like the addition of fried garlic as it added more savoury flavour and aroma. Like my pho, the noodles were on point and the chicken meatballs were moist and bouncy.
Naturally, this wouldn't be enough food for us, so I also ordered the Lemongrass Chicken with shredded pork and fried egg on broken rice. This was a fairly large portion with chewy rice and very juicy chicken. It had a light browning that didn't add much caramelization, but the chicken itself was marinated enough to counteract that. They could have been more generous with the shredded pork as I finished it in one bite.  
Lastly, we tried the Banh Mi Dac Biet. I really liked the bread, which was airy and crusty. There was also pate to go along with the nicely pickled carrots. However, they needed to add some fish sauce or Maggi because the sandwich was quite bland. They also skimped on the meat.  
Passable is the best way to describe Triple Coconut Tree. It was better than my original visit, but I won’t be returning anytime soon.
 
Sherman Chan is the #1 ranked food blogger on the Vancouver portal of Urbanspoon.com. Read more of his reviews at www.shermansfoodadventures.com.
 
Triple Coconut Tree Restaurant
4124 Hastings Street
604-569-2812
 
The Good:
• Fairly good portions (except for the banh mi)
• Decent large menu
• Acceptable service
 
The Bad:
• More on the average side
• Broth a bit muddled
 
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