I was searching for a place to eat a weekend brunch and found Le Colonial. In the about section of their website, they mention they’re a ‘cleverly crafted recreation of the civilized yet exotic world of French Indochina.’ Admittedly, it sounded kitschy, but it looked good so my dining companion and I paid a visit.
Le Colonial is located off Michigan Avenue in the Gold Coast neighborhood. The neighborhood surrounds you with a world of Gucci, Prada, Jimmy Choo, etc. I didn’t take photos of the interior because the inside of the restaurant seemed… high maintenance. But rest assured, restaurant interior was nice and the upstairs lounge looks like it was once part of the set of Gilligan’s Island in a fancy kind of a way.
My friend order the Mi Xao Do Bien (described as stir-fried shrimp, scallops, calamari, and mixed vegetables over pan-fried egg noodles with a light garlic oyster sauce, $25.00). They thought it was really good – almost perfectly cooked, but it was a bit pricy for what it was. They mentioned they’d probably order it again if they had the opportunity, but a revisit to Le Colonial would prompt them to order something else just to try something new.
I ordered phở (that is how it is listed) and it is described as a ‘hearty oxtail soup with rice noodles, beef tenderloin slices, and aromatic herbs’ – $6.50. When I initially looked at the phở on their website, I was excited because it looked really good. And it looked really good in person. One dilemma. The bowl was pretty small. D’oh.
The phở came with a sauced plate of hoison and sriracha with a wedge of lime. The basil and bean sprout toppings were already present in my phở. I was a little disappointed in how I couldn’t add whatever toppings to my phở like I did at Le’s Phở. I felt like a part of the experience of eating phở was taken away from me.
The phở broth itself was a bit light on taste, but still good. The beef was tender and was great to dip into the sauces. I wished I had more basil and bean sprouts in my phở, but they were still good. There was more noodles than I had expected in the bowl, but I thought they were a bit mushy. As my companion and I left Le Colonial, I couldn’t help but wonder, did I get a taste of French Indochina?
937 N. Rush St.
Chicago, IL 60611