I’ve passed by Thai Tai numerous times but never really thought much of it. All I knew was that Thai Tai is a local chain with a handful of locations and specializes in Vietnamese submarines, vermicelli bowls, salads, and soups. Initially, I didn’t have much interest in trying it as the look and feel of the place seems a bit Westernized and I usually prefer authentic hole-in-the-walls when it comes to Vietnamese food. However, last month when a coworker happened to try it and mentioned to me that it was one of the best sate beef subs that he’s ever had, that got my attention.
I decided to head over to check it out one lunch hour as I was curious to see how their subs (banh mi) compare to my long time favourite, Thi Thi Vietnamese Subamarine in Chinatown. I’m not sure how consistent they are at the various locations so I decided to head over to the one off Stephen Avenue by The Bay as that was the location that my coworker had tried. I ordered the Sate Beef Sub ($6.15). The only customization I asked for was to exclude onions in the sub as I wanted to see what their typical sub was like. To my surprise, the sub came on a whole wheat baguette. This is the first time I’ve seen banh mi on a whole wheat baguette by default. The toppings included pickled carrots, cucumber, cilantro, and hot peppers. I was actually pretty impressed at how tender and soft the beef was. The braised beef was shredded and had a similar texture to pulled pork. This style of beef is slightly different from the version at Thi Thi where the beef is sliced. Flavour-wise, I personally still think Thi Thi’s is the best. I was a little thrown off by the wheat-y flavour from the whole wheat baguette. The baguette was very soft and not as crusty on the outside as I would have preferred. Portion-wise, this sub from Thai Thi is HUGE in comparison the ones from Thi Thi. I almost had trouble finishing this one and could have easily shared it with a friend. Overall, I thought this Sate Beef Sub was pretty tasty. While it may not be in the same league as Thi Thi, it is still pretty good and I would go back again if I were in the area.
811 1 St SW