Came out of curiosity, was looking for something close and despite the reviews ( here and on yelp) I was quietly optimistic. Well, you know what happened to the curious cat...
I guess depending on what type of lenses you're wearing this place can be described a hole in the wall, a gem, a place for cheap eats. I saw it as run down but was willing to give it a go.
Greeted by the owner, she seemed friendly enough. Unbeknownst to us, she is also the chef, the server and the one who mans the phone and till.
We ordered a #6 (beef pho) and a pork on vermicelli with spring rolls. The food came pretty quickly and there was a good selection of veg. Granted the soup for the pho was hot, it was rather bland tasting. It tasted more like hot water with a sprinkle of meat fat flavours. There was an adequate portion of meat/tripe etc. The spring rolls were thinner in diameter but were tasty, as was the pork vermicelli.
Overlooking the dirty water filled mop bucket surrounded by the flies from the garbage filled recycle pop cans in the toilet was one thing. I mean the toilet itself was clean, there was soap and an abundance of bleach and disinfectant on the shelves. Whether they are regularly used are clearly another matter. However, finding three separate black short hairs in the pho confirmed that the likelihood of us returning is nigh on slim.
Seems a shame to be honest, as other customers came in, they seemed to be regulars and were willing to overlook the minimum food health standards I'm quite partial to. The owner remembered the regulars' orders. On another table, one guy was saying that he frequents this place at least once a week - to each their own we say.
I've tried this place about 3 times over the last year, usually ordering the pho.
It's not bad, but I found the broth a little ....bland? Not bland perhaps, but it needed something. Be it more seasoning, or perhaps more reducing. The noodles were inconsistent. Sometimes they're just right, sometimes, they're soft and overcooked.
The server was prompt and friendly though.
The room is small, and clean, but unremarkable.
Finding myself soaked head-to-toe after being caught in the rain on the Burrard Bridge, I immediately headed towards Saigon Venture hoping that there was some decent Pho waiting to warm me up.
I was greeted at the door by the husband and wife team who sat me down, grabbed me a towel to dry myself off with, and poured me a cup of tea.
My pho was decent enough - rest assured there are much better in this city - but it was piping hot, aromatic, and loaded with beef and tripe. The broth was simple and certainly could use some more depth, but it still hit the spot.
Soup, spring rolls, and a drink for under a tenner.
This place used to be ok... a couple years back. Expensive (prices are about $1 more than usual), but ok. At least, it was good enough for a pho fix, being the only pho restaurant in that area.
I went back yesterday for lunch and the chef and waiter were different people than I remember. Ordered my usual pho, and the flavor was no where to be found. The broth was bland and colorless, like hot water. The plate of sprouts/basil I got seriously had about 15 sprouts on it total. And I didn't think it was possible to mess up the simple step of boiling rice noodles, but apparently it is. My noodles were actually slimy. Ick.
Would recommend avoiding this place if possible.
I go here for a bowl of pho once in a while because I live quite close and there's not many places nearby for vietnamese.
The service is ok, usually pretty quick and they come to refill tea frequently. The place is clean enough, nothing special. It's pretty cheap, can usually get a bowl of pho and something to drink for under $8.
The broth is pretty bland, but the noodles and beef are ok. I usually flavour it with the hoi sin and spicy sauces on the table and its not bad.
There are many MUCH better places out there for pho, but if you're stuck in the area and have a craving, it'll do.