I went back here a few weeks ago..and everything has changed!
Food: Smaller portions...the quality has noticably decreased as well!
Service: The service is alright..
Value: With the increased prices and the MUCH smaller portions, I wasn't surprised to see that there were so many empty seats in this once filled and busy restaurant.
Ambiance: Nothing special here
Consistency is the key. I agree that their quality has waned a bit since their early days, they still do serve up fresh and generous portions of pho, and quickly too. For the past 7 years, my family and I have frequented this place even though we're equally as capable of making our own pho. For the amount of work brewing a nice pho broth (3-4 hours for the real deal), Pho Van is the easier choice, offering large portions and great MSG laden broth. A good pho is as good as its broth.The place buzzes of people and tacky neon lights. Definitely not a first date kind of place, Ample parking in the back too.
Portions changed and so did flavours and recipe. Probably several changeovers already with the kitchen staff much like the waitresses out front. It was best here before it expanded on location back when the floors were slanted and the place was crowded and you went there for the delicious Pho and generous portions of meats and tasty MSG filled soups and the big screen projection tv playing a popular action movie flick or else a ear piercingly cheesy viet karaoke video. I've since had to hunt down other places of preference for my pho needs.
Teaming with hunger my gf and I decided to visit this staple on Fraser St. It has the same decor and wierdo lighting but the music is toned down some. Pretty clean but still nothing to write home about.
Two bowls of pho dac biet and a spring rolls on the side set the pace. The broth was clear and clean in taste though it left us both especially thirsty afterwards. Decent cuts of meats but I found the tendon too gelatinous. There are lots of noodles and frankly, it's been the biggest bowl of pho we've both had in a long time. Spring rolls are also some of the largest I've had, with a good minced filling that included what looked like shredded black fungus. The thick rice paper skin was my kind of texture, a little chewy after biting through the crispy outside but I would say it could stand to sit in the oil bath at a higher temperature.
The service was perfunctory at best but it's fast and straight to the point.
Reliable and fairly consistent over the years, you'll find inexpensive, good (if not undistinguished) fair that satisfies the stomach and keeps the wallet heavy and the same time.
Went here with my daughter for a quick lunch, as a friend told me about this place and said it was great. Well . . it's NOT!!!
We ordered a small bowl of noodles and soup, one spring roll and an order of chicken wings. We got a large bowl of noodle and soup and two spring rolls. What the heck was her problem?? Wax in her ears?? And when I said I wanted a small, she just stared at me. I hate wasting food, and this was not good tasting at all. My daughter loves all types of noodles and soup. She didn't finish the one bowl I scooped for her. I had to take the rest home, eventhough i didn't really like it. It ended up sitting in the fridge untouched!!!
Everything was luke warm. The spring rolls were small and tastless, the chicken wings were tiny. Not worth what we paid for.
Service was non-existent . . . no smile, nothing.
Ambiance . . . typical pho place.
Will I go back?? Definitely NOT!!!
I usually don't order beef noodle soup and I tried the vermicelli here and man...it is out of this world, Everything was so fresh. The springs rolls and bbq pork were unbelievable and the kicker is, it only came out to $17.10 incl tax for two bowls! I was shocked and pleased with the experience, so I just paid $20. I have tried the beef bowl before and it wasn't bad either. I believe the owners took this place over a few years ago and closed down the original Pho Van in Chinatown which was my favourite pho place up to now. These guys know how to make Vietnamese food. They have been around at least 25 years.
I used to frequent this place quite often until their food quality went down and price went up. Their rice noodles seemed to get very yeasty/mushy too quickly, and their soup was filled with msg that I was thirsty after just eating the residue that was on the noodles. I stopped going for awhile, but recently went back because my bf and I craved viet food at 10 PM and we agreed to never go back to the 24 hour joint Pho Hoa on Kingsway. It turned out to be good again - this time I was not as thirsty even after having some spoonfulls of soup, and the chicken order pho I got was not rubbery and "plastic"-like textured like the last time I remembered. Not that it affects taste, but the funny thing about this place is that they have the most inconsistently sized noodle pieces ever, some are thick and others are egg noodle thin. I'm going back to frequenting this place again. I've also had the combo bowl - I find that skimp out on the quantity of meat given in the bowl, despite the higher price.
as the title says, this bowl of pho from this place is the pho that i measure all other bowls against. I have been coming here since high school, that's about 20 years ago. Their bowl of pho is the best, when i am on vacation, and get home sick, thoughts of this restaurants pho come to mind. Don't talk about the service here as there is none, sometimes on the weekend when weekend students, or the owners kids are serving do you get any attentive service. Other times when the regular ladies are working you are lucky to get service, they pretend they don't see you. I am ok with this as long as you walk in here knowing to expect poor service.
thumbs up for their pho, and fried spring rolls.
I know people who have had nightmare experiences with this place, but of the times I have been (including just recently) it has been decent.
I went with a party of three on a Saturday afternoon. The restaurant was busy but not at full capacity. Service was very prompt, we were seated, our orders were taken and the food came out all within 10 minutes or so. I have only ordered their Dac Biet Pho and I thought it was ok each time. I think they provide you with more beef balls than other pho place in their Dac Biet. Their soup stock is made with daikon and you can taste that bit of aromatic difference.
My dining partner wasn't too impressed with the Beef Ball and Tendon Pho. The tendon not very gelatinous and the rare beef tasted a bit gamey. (I have always known from other diners that the meat quality has been inconsistent over the years.)
Their spring-rolls were very good and packed with filling. They seem to be bigger than other places as well.
Generally I only go to Pho Van if someone else in our party is requesting it. I can't say I love it enough to go on my own accord, or to miss out on a pho place I enjoy more.
I agree with the review below: It used to be good. I went the restaurant recently and on two separate occasions, the beef I got were tough and chewy. The soup was ok. There are other Vietnamese restaurants that are a lot better than them.
Very very yummy Pho. The soup is always full of flavour and the noodles are always chewy/to the bite. The service is mediocre, but it's an asian place so that's what is expected. Good price. Small bowls for 5.10 and big bowls for 6.00. I only come here for my Pho.
I can only speak for east side Pho restaurants and I think this is the best one.
The tables are always full, which speaks for itself.
Pho restaurants, let's face it, it's all the same ingredients-beef, basil, bean sprouts, red peppers--but what sets this Pho restaurant apart from the others is its broth. Best broth of all Pho restaurants.
One of the best vietnamese restuarant in Vancouver. Recommended to all the people who loves a good PHO. I come here weekly with my hubby to eat our lemon grass chicken on rice. Or sometimes a beef noodles. The food comes out FAST, its cheap and delicious, and there are a lot of quantity and quality to the food. The services was really nice, get us whatever we need without and complaints. I would highly recommend to all people to taste the food, one of the best pho in vancouver.
There is ample parking for this place. The eating area also seats a lot of people. The place gives an overall impression that it is clean and the staff cares about the look and the customers.
We came here for lunch (friend suggestion) and the portions are quite large. My wife had to pack her noodles. The food tasted really good and it doesn't seem like they used bad ingredients. The Pho soup base was good and there doesn't seem to be any over use of MSG or even any at all.
Service was a surprise here. The servers were busy, but they were also attentive and followed through with all our requests, like extra fish sauce, napkins, tea quite quickly.
This is definately a step up for pho places. After coming here, I have to say I won't be back to some other places I've been to in the past.
This restaurant is a good value - cheap with big portions. Not a lot of choice on the menu as it's mainly Pho. #26 on the menu is pretty good if you like lemongrass pork. Ambiance is quite funny/cheesy. Service is adequate.
Maybe I love this place because I don't go here very much. (it's too far from where I live) But the times I do go, I've never been let down in terms of taste. I usually order a Pho Dac Biet (All kinds of meat in noodle soup) or Pho Bo Vien (Beef ball noodle soup) because I eat rice at home everyday. The soup base is always tastier than the majority of Pho restaurants that I've been to. (And I've been to quite a few as my girlfriend is Pho-natic. lol)
The Vietnamese coffee also tatses great.. Perfect for a nuke of caffiene to start off the day, or to stop it from ending.
The service isn't the best as some of the hoochie-mama Vietnamese waitresses seem a bit snobby.
The ambiance in there is nice, the mirrors on both walls make it seem bigger, more busy and the TV helps burn some time as you wait for your food. The ceilings are vibrantly lit with neon coloured lights to add to the urban-styled nightlife theme.
I would give it a 3.5 is there was an option to do so.
Overall, great place to go at night. Definately beats Pho Hoa hands down.. the worst tasting most bland, over rated pho restaurant ever.
Been coming here for over 15 years, and the food remains the same quality (outstanding). Lots of great Pho shops around town for the most part, can't go wrong, but this one stands out becuase they seem to use the least MSG compared to other Pho shops I've been too. Great selection of authentic cuisines and has the best 3 bean drink that I've found so far. Dinner for two without desert will run you sub $16 easily...before tip/tax. And you'll come out full and satisfied.
Service is fast, but once you get your food don't expect them to come by to ask you how things are. They rarely do. Seems to be the case with most Pho shops.
Other thing is, cash only..no Visa or debit. There is a bank nearby.
If you're dining alone, you can always watch some classic Vietamese TV on the 46" flatscreen.
I can't believe how bad the reviews for this restaurant is. Order Pho here, not anything else. This has consistently been my favourite pho place in Vancouver. The broth is not full of fat and MSG and actually tastes like a properly cooked bowl of pho in Vietnam or from my parents or grandparents. Let me mention it again, the broth is really really really tasty.
As for service and atmosphere, well, I go for the Pho and naturally expect neon lights and paris by night. :)
Great Pho noodles, big portions, service is almost non existing here. My favorite place for Vietnamese food in Vancouver though. If you are tired of the noodle soup, try their special which is a brisket soup with carrots and a baguette. This place is also great for take out or eat in if you dont mind the low service.
The other day my husband and I came to try out Pho Van again but the Pho had extreme amounts of MSG and the beef was very tough. The soup was bland.
The service remained the same.
The ambiance needs help still. We can't stand the neon lights!
We won't be coming back for a while