Meeting with Christine and Cong Thanh

Meeting with Christine and Cong Thanh

We arrive in the morning in the small Vietnamese restaurant and the team is already working hard to prepare the lunch service. We are invited to enter directly into the kitchen where we discover the cook stirring a mixture of spices for the pho soup in a huge wok: the air filled with cinnamon and ginger already whets our appetite.


Christine and Cong Than are a couple in life and in business. Together, they opened Pho Khanh Hoa on Jean-Talon five years ago. The family lives in the neighborhood, which is why they decided to settle on the commercial artery. Cong Thanh leaves in the morning to buy fresh food at the market for making soup. Herbs, limes and peppers that Christine then prepares behind the counter to add to the famous pho soup, their specialty. “You have to try the soup. All our dishes are excellent, but it is our pho soup that is our signature meal. Customers come back to tell us that they have tried several pho soups, and that ours is special!” explains Christine proudly.


She left her small town of Cua Ong in northern Vietnam to settle in Montreal with her husband, also from the country. The couple is therefore keen to share their Vietnamese culinary culture. “Our restaurant serves authentic Tonkinese soup.” specifies Christine. Far from being obvious to her, she then tells us that she did not always want to have a restaurant, but she had the entrepreneurial spirit in her: she knew that she wanted to have her own business. In the end, “It was the restaurant that chose me and not the other way around,” she admits.


The couple's favorite things about their restaurant are the positive reviews and the relationship with customers. “We have very good customers. Some tell us how our food makes them feel better. It’s comfort food,” Christine explains proudly. And with good reason! What better than the return of satisfied customers to motivate invested restaurateurs like Christine and Cong Thanh?