A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away... Okay, it wasn't in another galaxy and it wasn't really that long ago; but for Polka King, it seemed like a different reality. You see, he is an accountant by trade and when we last visited Gold Train Express out on Kingsway, there was some very strange mathematics at play. Hence, he was perturbed to the point of never returning. Oh and the large neon sign proclaiming "fresh washrooms" concerned him as well. Fast forward almost 3 years and here we are heading to the newest addition to the Gold Train family - Pho 24 Express, also on Kingsway. Now, 3 years later, we also see less and less of Polka King because he is so infatuated with Polka Dot. Well, I don't blame him really. She is a lot better looking than all of us and would you blame him for hanging out with her more than us? Besides, we had more than enough willing participants for our after-hockey-eats. Unbeknownst to him that we were heading to a place affiliate with Gold Train Express was Milhouse. He was with us last time and he has not forgotten as well. Emilicious willingly joined us since she doesn't mind the location out near UBC. Apparently, their math skills are more sharp out there. Sweet Tooth, Gordo and Apu rounded out the group.
Now if there was any doubt of its affiliation with Gold Train, the abundance of neon on the outside was a dead giveaway. Hey, at least it is easy to find... Sweet Tooth had a hard time deciding what she wanted and eventually settled on the Spring Rolls. We loved the presentation. It appears more and more places are cutting them diagonally, which makes them look "fancier". Despite appearing overfried, these were not greasy and crispy according to Sweet Tooth. It was nice to see that they were not made with wheat wrappers nor made to look like Chinese spring rolls. Since that was not enough food for her, she tacked on a Salad Roll as well. Also "artistically" plated with open ends, the roll itself was pretty standard. As for the dipping sauce, it was too peanutty. There was not enough hoisin sauce which made the sauce bland and one-dimensional. Milhouse suggested that we merely squirt some hoisin in ourselves. I guess we could've done that.
Now Apu, Gordo and Emilicious all had Pho in some shape or form, so there is no point in describeng them all. The corresponding picture is of Emilicious' Pho Tai (with the addition of vegetables). I tried some of the broth and to me, it was predominantly sweet and with a definite MSG slant. Not a bad broth per se, just not enough meat flavour and savoury elements. The meats were tender and plentiful while the rice noodles started off a bit clumpy before loosening up in the hot broth. For myself, I had an X-Large Bun Bo Hue. Maybe this is an unfair comparison; but I didn't find it any bigger than the large at Pho Tam. In fact, it was smaller. On the menu, it stated that there was beef, Vietnamese ham and pork's leg. There was definitely a lot of ham and tender beef; but I didn't see any pork's leg. The noodles were plentiful and cooked just right. I found the broth acceptable where it had some spice and sweetness. I didn't get any hints of lemongrass though. Milhouse went for the Bun Bo Nuong, Cha Gio and Nem Nuong (grilled beef, spring roll and marinated pork on vermicelli). This was also pretty standard stuff with the same spring rolls and meats. Nothing Earth-shattering; but solid nonetheless. This was pretty much our experience here (with proper mathematics). Decent for late-night eats.
- Open late
- Food is okay
- Prices are okay
- Food is okay
- Is the X-Large really that much larger?