Friday, May 7, 2010

Pho Hoang

There isn't any good Pho place near UBC.  This week Dennis, Jean, and I went Pho restaurant hunting.  Hoping to find the best pho place in town.  When I lived in Kingson, I had the fortune to live in the same town as the best Vietnamese food place I have ever experience.  The pho was mind blowing and the grill chicken was orgasmic. Then, I work in the most popular Vietnamese restaurant in London, Ontario.  I know a lot about the cuisines, how the dishes are made, and the secret behind the sauces and marinate.  (I traded World of Warcraft strategy for them).

We decided to work our way up Main Street, trying out every single Pho place.  The first one is Pho Hoang on Main and West 18th Ave. The restaurant was packed, a good sign. Btw, if you have any good suggestions, please let me know!

Food: (3.5/5)
I got an ordinary pho, small size for $5.99. For me, it's important to gauge basic flavour in the broth of the pho, because they use the same base for almost all the noodle soups.  It was good and satisfying, but nothing to write home about (3/5).  Dennis had the Grilled Lemon Grass Chicken with medium size pho (8.99).  The grilled chicken smelled hickory and mouth watering, but you are suppose to put it into the soup.  "What a waste of delicious chicken!" I thought, until I tried the broth after.  The hickory sweet flavours blended perfectly into the soup and the noodle. First dish: Cheap, huge, and absolutely delicious. (4/5)  Jean ordered the Bun. Bun, in Vietnamese, is not bread. It usually refers to a bowl of rice noodle with grilled meat and a savory fish sauce (no soup).  Usually the marinate for the meat and the ingredients of the sauce that make or break this dish.  The recipes are usually closely kept secrets.  The grilled pork was good but unimpressive, but the fish sauce was amazing. It was better than the ones from the place I worked at before. The sauce was fresh and had perfectly balanced flavours of sweet, salt, sour and spice. (3.5/5)

Service: (1.5/5)
Service is rather substandard, not atypical of vietnamese cuisine.  The waitress lazily wiped our table with a dirty cloth before sitting us. The table still feel greasy.  We were served tea, food, and ignored.

Ambience: (2/5)
Stereotypical of Vietnamese restaurants in Vancouver.  There is a poorly kept fish tank at the entrance  Tables are not cleaned properly and definitely wobbly.  I wouldn't bring anyone here for dates, not even for cheap dates.  I suppose it is not as repulsive as the pho place near UBC though.

Overall Experience (2.5/5)
I do enjoy a value meal with large size hearty food.  The whole experience wasn't that memorable. It leaves me yearning to try out more pho places.

Total: 9.5/20
Good cheap food, but does it compete with other pho place on Main? We will see

Pho Hoang Vietnamese on Urbanspoon

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