What’s on the menu at Pinky’s Ca Phe, a Vietnamese-Cambodian snack bar from the Hanmoto team

What’s on the menu at Pinky’s Ca Phe, a Vietnamese-Cambodian snack bar from the Hanmoto team

Name: Pinky’s Ca Phe
Contact: 53 Clinton St., @Pinkys_Caphe
Neighbourhood: Little Italy
Previously: Fuel House
Owner: Leemo Han (OddSeoul, Hanmoto)
Chefs: Executive chef Leemo Han and chef de cuisine Joe Kim (Hanmoto)
Bartender and general manager: Ihn Huh (Hanmoto)

The food

A short menu inspired by flavours Han grew up with in Philly, a city with a large Vietnamese community. There’s Han’s own version of butter beef and a mango-papaya salad topped with grilled squid. Some of the dishes, including crispy chicken legs, are cooked over charcoal on the restaurant’s back patio. And what the Moto Bun is to Hanmoto, the French dip is to Pinky’s: Han marries the classic roast-beef sandwich with a Philly cheesesteak and pho. Coming soon: whole-roasted pigs and a street-side banh mi station.

The lightly battered Banh Xeo Broccoli. $7.

 
The Tiger’s Milk Ceviche is a mix of yellowfin tuna, scallops, surf clams, avocado, chilies and cilantro in a tom-yum-and-coconut-milk marinade. It’s served with house-made taro chips. $12.

 
“You Dip, I Dip” is Han’s take on a French dip. For the sandwich, he stuffs a baguette with thinly sliced brisket and Asiago cheese, then dresses it all with hoisin sauce, sriracha, cilantro, Thai basil, bean sprouts and red onions. It’s served with a concentrated pho broth for dipping. $10.

 
Han’s Marrow Beef, a riff on butter beef, wraps shaved beef around a core of cilantro and red onions. Each roll is torched briefly before being bathed in a sweet vinegar-soy-marrow sauce, and topped with fried garlic, shallots and chilies. $15.

 
Chicken legs are charcoal-grilled in Pinky’s backyard. $15.

 
The grill platter features three charcoal-grilled meats: chicken legs, pork jowl, and beef luc lac short ribs. $25.

 
Here’s Kim manning the legs.

 
And Han, getting saucy with them.

The drinks

Beer and a selection of light and fruity cocktails, like the bar’s signature Pink Lady made with Dillon’s gin, house raspberry syrup, lemon juice and egg white.

The Foco-Loco incorporates tropical fruit juice, muddled herbs, citrus and white rum. This version of the drink is made with lychee drink, Thai basil and lime. $12.

 
The Pink Lady features Dillon’s gin, house raspberry syrup, lemon juice and egg white. $12.

The space

Han, his father and Huh spent the past year renovating the narrow building’s dimly lit space, transforming it into something that’s 1970’s-Vietnamese-diner-meets-speakeasy. In addition to the main dining room decorated with strings of lantern lights, potted plants and vintage photos depicting Vietnamese street scenes, there’s a heated sunroom. Come warmer weather, the bar will grow by two patios.

Here’s the bar.

 
And the main dining room.

 

This is the sunroom.

 
The name was inspired by a recent visit to Vietnam—Han noticed many women wearing a lot of pink blush.