For a big metropolis, there are not really all that many choices for late night eats in Vancouver. Sure, there is Denny's, Knight & Day and Tops. But I'd rather stand in the middle of #3 Road in Richmond with a bulls eye painted on my chest than eat at those places. This is the dilemma Polka King and I faced after our weekly late night Wednesday hockey - 1:30am on a weekday looking for eats... Well, there was one place that we noticed when we were at #1 Congee Noodle a couple of weeks ago. It was a Pho restaurant and it was open 24 hours. But we really couldn't remember the name. Well, it turns out the name is Kim Penh Xe Lua. Alright, what happened to easy to remember names such as Pho Tam, Pho Hong, Pho Hoa or even Pho T&A??? Like there is any chance we'd remember Kim Penh Xe Lua.
We got to the restaurant pretty fast because not many people would be on the road at 1:30am on a Thursday morning. We stepped into the restaurant and it seemed like we'd never left the ice rink. Talk about a slippery floor! Did they mop the place with oil??? More on the oil later... Another thing we noticed was the communal tables. In the middle of the restaurant, there are 3 long tables. I guess you'd better not be OCD about personal space because you won't get any here. Despite a free table for 2 available, we sat at the communal table since there was sufficient lighting for pictures. Hey, you know me! I decided to order the XL bowl of #16 which was the Pho Chin, Nam, Gau, Gan and Sach. However, #17 was exactly the same thing. I was a bit confused. But in Chinese characters, #16 had one more item, so I went for that one. I still don't know what I got extra for ordering #16 and honestly, I don't want to know.
I gotta say, for $6.79, the XL is a fantastic value. The bowl was large, the noodles and meat were plentiful. One problem. The broth was fattier than Rosanne's liposuction. In addition to the considerable oil slick, oily "floaties" were everywhere. Not the most appetizing sight. Looking beyond that, the soup itself was quite flavourful without being salty. The noodles, however, were a bit clumpy. Good value; but overall disappointing execution. For curiosity sake, I also got the Grilled Chicken Banh Mi. It came steaming hot and I really enjoyed eating it, the bread was crunchy and light and the chicken was tender. Polka King had the Chicken Curry (yah, I wouldn't order that here) and predictably it was so-so. I guess we shouldn't be complaining since it's early in the morning and choices are limited; but compared to other Pho places, this would not be my first choice.
- Large portions
- It's cheap!
- It's open 24 hours
- Pho is pretty average and the broth is oily
- The floor is oily
- What else is oily? I don't want to know...