My cravings for pho were answered when my gf and I met up with another hungry friend in Richmond for a later evening dinner.
The love boat themed decor seems really tacky, especially as you enter it virtually looks like any other mom and pop pho joint, but it is neat and tidy and fairly unobstrusive at no higher than eye level.
We savaged the menu with double large Pho Dac Biets and spring rolls, a grilled pork salad roll and a Vietnamese sub for the gf. Mind you, the sandwich and salad rolls are not what you're here for, as they were merely ordinary next to the fantastic pho. The dark broth is deep but strong, so strong that it nearly overpowers your tastebuds (a little heavy on the salt, in my opinion). While the overall portion is average, the generous amount of tripe, rare beef and flank is very tender while the tendon actually has bite without the gelatinous glop. The spring rolls are fantastic with an ultra crispy, yet not to thick wrapper. It's light and completely addictive.
The lone staff was friendly but service was rudimentary at best outside of taking and serving orders.
For a great bowl of pho, Pho Thai Hoa makes it happen.
Food: I love their pho and I think it's up there with the best in Vancouver. I'm a #6 fan since I don't like tripe or brisket and this just comes with beef. Sometimes I switch it up and add beef balls if I'm in the mood and they're both tasty. The soup is warm and with the right balance of flavors and not greasy at all. Their papaya sald is wonderful and it's just a nice way to break up the richness of the soup. Spring rolls are nice and crispy, lemongrass chicken is a little greasy but otherwise good and their sandwiches/banh mi are delicious - sometimes I eat one and wonder if I should take one out for later on...
Service: Efficient but that's it. They take your order, give you your food and take your money and that's it - just like Chinese cafes.
Value: Their prices have gone up recently but it's still quite affordable as the small bowls of pho always fill me up. During the week, they have a combo menu that's quite reasonable as well but beware since it sometimes turns out to be the same price if you order it off the regular menu.
Ambiance: They kept the nautical theme of the previous restaurant and it just seems to be confusing but whatever - I come here for the food, not the ambiance and as long as the washrooms and dining tables are clean, I'm ok with it.
Overall, I would return and recommend others to try this or their Kingway location for some really great pho, sandwiches and salad. Bon appetite!
I'm surprised to read so many reviews on their pho when to me, the best items on their menu are the sandwiches. Crunchy but soft (almost flaky pastry-like) French bread enclosed around the tasty filling of choice. The pickled veggies included were very fresh and crunchy.
On the same visit, I also tried their pho tai nam, rice rolls with pork and spring rolls. The three mentioned were okay (pho was nice, rice rolls were too thick and spring rolls lacked depth of flavour - it was just salty and nothing more) but I dream about their sandwiches.
Am looking forward to my next visit for another sandwich and to try other items on the menu.
Loved the food there. I heard they were pretty well known for their sandwiches as well.
Their service was quite scary. I gave them a $50 bill for a $43 lunch and they never came back with change. Did they think that I was going to give them a $7 tip. Hmmmm.......
Overall, it was a great experience and for an Vietnamese restaurant, this place was pretty clean.
The service was non-existent and the rice and porkchops subpar. The rice was dry and the fried egg overcooked. There was no Vietnamese dipping sauce to at least moisten the rice or season the salad. The soup was very oversalted. We waited and waited for the server to take our order and then waited and waited again to get our bill. I don't think I'll come back to this restaurant again.
Well, I have been here quite a few times.. I also bring my friends and family to this place because they are a pretty good pho restaurant among Richmond. Today I went there to pick up my take-out. I brought the 15% off coupon that they printed in the take-out menu. When I represented it to the cashier she says "No coupon, this is old coupon, it can't be used". Well, there's no expiry date on that coupon, but well, I won't argue.
My order was $7.50 + tax, = $8.40. I gave her a $20 bill. I was looking confused at the new take out menu, then she gave me back $1.60. She was holding a $10 in her hand. I told her I gave her a $20, then she said "oh I forgot, I thought you gave me a $10" and quickly gave me the $10 bill. I have a feeling that she must be thinking I was confused whether I paid $20 or $10, so she could keep my $10 if I didn't ask her.
I am not sure if I want to go back now.
Use to frequent the kingsway location until it went a little downhill. Not sure if this location is the same owners but it reminded me a lot of the 'old' kingsway location. Came here with my sis on sunday for dinner. It wasn't particularly busy, they had a large party of 10 and a couple tables of 2 or 4. I ordered a rare beef and tripe pho and requested my rare beef on the side so i could cook it myself. The soup came piping hot and tasted delicious. The meat was good quality and decent portion. My sis ordered a vermicelli bowl with grilled pork and spring rolls. I had a piece of spring roll and it had a nice amount of meat and was crispy. She reported her dish as being very good. Overall, the food was good, price was normal at $5.95 for small and $6.50 for large, no complaints about service, and the decor was actually quite nice and clean. The decor was probably what stood out the most b/c you felt more like you were at a seafood or fish & chip joint rather than a vietnamese restaurant. Would come here again.
The food quality is better than many other Vietnamese noodle places. Their combos are pricey because it is basically the total price of the items added up, so you don't really save anything ordering a combo.
Service is quite bad, especially when they are busy, expect to stand at the door without anyone attending to you for a few minutes. Their service is quite slow too - to get the bill, get changes, get a glass of water, etc.