Thai Son is an authentic Vietnamese restaurant just east of Main Street, across the street from Kingsgate Mall serving Pho and other classic Vietnamese dishes.
Another rainy Saturday but an opportunity came knocking when my mom and sister needed a lift from Costco. I always wanted to try this place out but nobody to go with until now...plus free meal to boot. We got there at 5 pm...parking pretty easy ...parked on the side and added several bucks for the meter or could have parked at Kingsgate mall parking lots. We stepped in and got seated right away as it was pretty quiet at this moment. The place looks modern..I mean oriental modern.
Checking out the menu, I decided to order the 6 pack of cha gio (spring rolls) to share at $10.50 and a special grilled dish of bun thit nuong chao tom rau song..aka 2 grilled skewered pork, shrimp on a sugar cane with vermicelli and mixed greens($12.25). My sis ordered the com tam ga uop xa... aka grilled lemongrass chicken on steamed broken rice ($8.25) and my mom ordered the No. 14 beef balls in rice noodle soup ($7.65 large) and a caffeine fix of ca phe sua nong... aka Vietnamese hot black coffee with condensed milk ($3.55). The waitress that took our order did not quite speak English too good so we had to point or blurb out the numbers.
In about 10 minutes...our food started to arrive. The verdict...the spring rolls arrived first..they were piping hot and crunchy...with the center being smoother than say Bau Chau's spring rolls. The outer layer was not the usual Vietnamese rice but the flour Chinese version wrappers....nevertheless they were tasty. My grilled pork dish had nice flavor and char to them, my shrimp paste on a sugar cane was reheated via microwave as they had knife slits on it....tasted ok. The odd part were the veggies...came with cucumber slices but had 5 super large lettuce leaves with them..uncut as a garnish??? Rather than waste them, I basically decided to use them as a la chinese tacos or crepes!! First a large leaf..add a bit of rice verm then piece of grill pork then a squirt of hoisin sauce rolled into a crepe or a folded pocket. Tasted fine but a bit messy. My sis dish was very good...she said the chicken thighs were nicely charred and moist at the same time. My mom's beef ball soup was not bad as there was just too much MSG in the broth. The worst part was the waitress forgot the coffee but when it came...she did say it was the best cup of coffee she had in a long time.
My only real complaint is the when the bill came...it was a younger lady who brought the bill not the original waitress...Im guessing she was the owner's daughter??? as she was at a table folding something....my mom was about the hand the payment and she turned her back and walked away....wtf....a ruddy pooh move!!! Customer service needs improving here especially on this one.
Would I come back?? maybe for the food but the service kind of blows.
The Beef here seems to be of better quality and the portions above average. The appies such as the spring rolls and salad rolls are pretty good. I've not tried any of the crepes or rice dishes but they look very good.
Neighbourhood is a bit sketchy so wouldn't go there during later hours.
The pho here is fairly standard. The broth is good and the flank steak is always tender. The portions, however, could be bigger. They are fine for lunch, but for dinner the large bowls are not enough. For larger, manly sized dinner portions, try Pho Thang Long on Main Street instead.
I put the kibosh on my gf's dinner options one night and instead came here. I had heard good things before and with dime a dozen pho joints it was worth at least a trip.
Furnishings are mundane yet clean but through and through you couldn't mistake it for anything else but a noodle shop.
We split the grilled lemongrass chicken on rice and the somewhat hard to find banh xeo, a delicious savoury-type crepe made with coconut milk and filled with shrimp, pork and bean sprouts to be wrapped with lettuce, basil, mint and fish leaves. While the lemongrass chicken hit the comfort zones exactly the banh xeo was excellent. You could taste the hint of coconut milk through the crispy crepe and using uncooked bean sprouts made all the difference in freshness. Portions are ample as both of us came out packed to the brim.
Service is all about efficiency, prioritizing table clearing over chit chat; no complaints here.
With no pho experience here it's hard to justify top marks for food but considering the tepid experiences I've had with banh xeo locally when I could find it, this one easily sits at the top. Will be back.
Went to Thai Son on EB yesterday for lunch. The restaurant was packed at just after 2pm when we arrived but the staff quickly found us a seat.
Quickly ordered the Spring Rolls which arrived in record time. Very speedy.
The rolls came pipeing hot and quite tasty. The nice clear sauce with garlic and a splash of lemon juice added to the taste of these spring rolls.
For lunch my dining partner and me ordered the same thing, lemon grass chicken with egg. Very nicely done. A huge portion too by the time I was finished I was stuffed.
Everything came quickly , we were in and out of there in about 40 minutes.
The servers, althoug efficient could kick things up a bit in the smile department. Not much personality shown.
In the end a nice tasty inexpensive lunch that has left me wanting more.
Compared to other Vietnamese restaurants, this is one of the better options. The food is not as greasy/oily as other Viet restaurnts so that's a plus.
The soup base on the noodles is very good.
Prices are more than reasonable and finding parking was not a problem.
Defintely will come back again.
Have to agree with the last reviewer, I've been here many times before and I gotta say, each time gets a little worse. Was there for lunch today, had the salad roll and a bowl of pho as did my mom. The soup was really good I thought which is what I go by at a Pho place, but the beef, tendon, tripe etc. weren't too good, not the greatest quality. I've been coming here for years and it's still pretty good compared to some other Pho restaurants but just not as good as it used to be.
Everything else was mediocre to poor at best. The fish soup with rice on the side to go with it, served hot-pot style, that was the highlight specialty that made me go back to here often before in the past. Until the point when the fish they used just got to be toooooo fishy tasting. It seems they lost the recipe in masking it's fishy bad parts, to bring out the sweet seafood quality of the fish.
I'm sure this place must've gone downhill, since previously people have been quite happy with it. When we went, it was still very busy and we had high hopes since many people had indicated it was a very good place. Maybe our standards have been raised, since I spent quite a few years in San Jose (with what is probably the largest Vietnamese community on the continent) trying a lot of good Vietnamese food.
We ordered a variety of dishes, including pho, a rice dish and many other things. We felt it was mostly heavy on the MSG. The pho was barely passable. The broth was quite bland. Nothing special.
No need to waste my breath on this one. Green Lemongrass in Richmond was MUCH better. I doubt we'll be back to this one.
This is still their authentic location, the one that started it all, the one that recieved all the raves but the food's been going downhill for years. It's hard to maintain a reputable food consistency, it's understandable but too bad for them there's a lot of competition for pho in recent years and thai son doesn't do it. The soup base is WAY too salty, too much msg, and isn't flavourful so much as salty like i already mentioned. The beef is just alright, the noodles is fine. Overall, I look for a decent soup base and thai son doesn't impress me. Their spring rolls are just okay.
I mentioned I am not much of a Pho person, but I love springrolls and lemongrass chicken. So that's what I usually eat at Vietnamese restaurants.
Sadly, both these items are not up to par. The dry egg noodles, on the other hand, is extremely good. Much better than Phnom Penh's.
There isn't much to write about the service. All I can say is that it is much better than most asian restaurants.
Ambiance: Your typical asian restaurant.
Return? Just for the dry egg noodles.
Thai Son is perfect if you’re really hungry with little time. Service is quick, the staff is pleasant enough and the food is ALWAYS good.
The rice and meat dishes are almost heaping. The rice is always cooked perfectly and the meat seasoned and cooked well.
My favorite is the number 6 on the menu spicy. The well-done beef in noodle soup. This arrives in minutes of ordering it. It’s always piping hot and comes with bean sprouts, jalapeño slices and sprigs of bay leaves (I think?).
The price is right, great value for your money.
The ambiance is again basic. At times it’s been a little cold but after getting a large bowl of soup you warm up right away.
I've been getting pho take-out here for about a year. The restaurant is very popular locally and can be quite busy during the lunch and dinner rushes, but the take-out service is always fast and reliable. Good price for delicious beef pho with lots of meat. The broth is very flavorful and the small size is just right for one. Seafood pho is also quite good. Lacks vegetarian options though. Great for meat-lovers.
been to this restaurant several times and every single time the food and service is just as good. my family and I always go there for their shrimp sweet and sour hotpot which comes with a side of caramel fish. it feeds 3-4 and comes with a big big bowl of rice to share. if you've never had Vietnamese hot and sour soup this is the place to go. another dish that is very filling and yummy is their rice dishes. wow their broken rice and lemon grass chicken is amazing. it also comes with a bowl of soup! and last but not least, their egg crepe/omelette. its a huge dish and comes with all the vegetables you can think of. it has a nice crunchy texture and is filled with lots of stuff, very good with fish sauce. oh i cant forget their 3 bean dessert/drink, its awesome!!
overall this restaurant has good food and service, would recommend it to everyone!
This restaurant has high quality beef with noodles in a tasty soup. Their rare beef seems to be of a higher grade than most other Vietnamesse restaurants.
Ambiance is not bad, at least the place look clean. Service is average.
Today 3 hungry bears went to Thai Son to have some Pho to warm up on a rainy day. This place was packed during lunch, but luckily we were able to get seats rather quickly.
Food: We had deep fried spring rolls to share, and each of us ordered noodles. I had the seafood pho which was delicious! I can't speak for others, but seemed like they enjoyed their meals.
Service: A little bit better than average, because it didn't take them long to get our orders and serve us the food.
Ambiance: Looks like they recently added a few touches to their existing location which makes it look a little more attactive. (But don't worry, you won't get the neon-glare here.)
Price: Comparable to other Vietnamese restaurants but very yummy food in my opinion (which makes it worth it).
Overall: Great authentic Vietnamese food that is consistently prepared and delicious. If you haven't been here, then you've been missing out!
I ordered their special menu, which was spicy beef noodles or something. I can't deny that the noodle soup is indeed delicious and generous. However, I think their food is just too fatty. I can see too much oil floating on my soup. I thought it was jsut because they put a lot of chili oil, but then it was the same case on somebody's clear beef noodle soup without chili oil. They also use low quality beef that is full of fat. I struggled when eating my meal because I was trying to trim the fat inside every slice of beef I was about to eat. I might be coming back to try another kind of food, but not sure of that.
I have eaten this restaurant several times, the first time wasn't long after it opened several years ago. It was slightly above average then, but both quality and quantity have declined over the years. There isn't as much meat, even for large bowls, and the soup is not as flavouful as before. They blanch the bean sprouts, a practice I don't like, but perhaps done to appease common taste. Service has always been bare bones. You are lucky if you get a smile, but you probably won't be mistreated either. On a wall they have newspaper clippings of some Asian celebrities that I don't recognize patronizing the restaurant. For me, this is an average Vietnamese restaurant. The best pho I've had is unfortunately still from a little family establishment in Toronto.
EXTREMELY generous portions of pho -- delicious too! not too soft, the chewiness is just right. The prawn spring rolls were tasty too. Service is fast and servers are polite. Definitely recommend this place.
When I was younger, my mom would've brought me to this place and eat Pho here. The Pho was always delicious, great for it's price.
Recently going there again, after trying out different restaurants...
It has become worse.
Food: I'm not sure whether or not people now-a-days have no taste in Pho or what, but I do not see why it is so 'busy' now. Before I remember the Pho and quality of the food was so good, now it tastes like a Pho joint that never gets any customers. Soup was bland, noodles were like before, not too soft, but beef was... not so tasteful. I don't know what has happened for the quality of the food at Thai Son that gone down, but it's definitely not as good as before.
Service: Waitresses chat a lot, they either ignore you until your hand is up for about 2 minutes or you flag them down/or they keep on bothering you every minute asking 'Have you decided your order yet'. Waitresses were dim-witted and gave wrong order to table, had to walk up to counter to tell that it was not my order. Gave me an attitude afterwards.
Value: Barely acceptable for such poor service and downhill food from before.
Ambiance: Takes a long time waiting in line for the chatty waitresses to notice and clean up a table after the customer has left for over 4 minutes. Two wipes on the table, spray. The ambiance is ok, but it's score is deducted from their long-time to notice a table just to clean it for another customer to sit-down.
I personally would not give it another try, after the most recent horrible experience. Not recommended from myself. Is very busy at times for some reason, would not go during busy times.