Ginseng and I go way back. In fact, all the way back to high school, albeit she is 3 years younger. Hence, it is always a pleasure to hang out with her, the few times she is able to join us for late night eats after Friday hockey. So when she indicated it was possible for her to grace us with her presence, we made accommodations. You see, our usual MO is to travel deep into Vancouver for food (although I live in Burnaby, what gives?) which effectively makes it inconvenient for some, including Ginseng. So we decided to head to the location of Pho Century on Kingsway at Sperling. Actually, now it is the only location as the other one has closed
Emilicious wanted to share a Spring Roll with me and I eagerly accepted (this does not sound right, I know...). When it arrived, we were glad they had used rice flour wrappers (something about the appearance and texture). The filling was a tad loose, but that in turn made the spring roll somewhat light. Flavourwise, it was mild with hints of fish sauce and sweet onion. While we were sharing a spring roll, Ginseng and Milhouse split a Salad Roll. Yes, it was a veritable food orgy... The salad roll was neatly constructed with a nicely textured rice wrapper. Pretty standard with no complaints. Lionel Hutz, who is quite indifferent when it comes to Pho, went for the Banh Mi Dac Biet. Within the toasted and airy baguette, there wasn't a whole lot of meat. Therefore,the sandwich lacked substance and flavour. Compounding the problem was a lack (or very little) of soy or Maggi sauce. In the end, he still thought it was fine for $3.95. Besides, we were not at a Banh Mi joint anyways.
Moving onto the main event, I went for Rice Combo #4 which included BBQ lemongrass chicken, fried egg and Vietnamese ham. This was neatly presented with all of the components prepared with care. I particularly liked the chicken as it was really juicy with a barely-cooked consistency. There was a good level of charring where the meat exhibited plenty of flavour from the marinade. The ham was sliced thick and it was moist with a bit of bounce. Lasty, the rice was chewy without being dry. For Ginseng and Emilcious, they both went for Pho and I thought to myself, I can't just sample it, I need a bowl of my own! Hence, I also got a Pho Dac Biet. Yes, I am a glutton, so sue me! Wait, Lionel Hutz was around... better not... I found the soup on the sweeter side with not much in the way of meatiness. The noodles were al dente while the meats were thin and tender. A decent, if not, standard bowl of Pho. "Pretty good" was the sentiment from the table, although I thought the non-Pho items seemed to be better than the Pho itself. Loved the fact it is open late too, so it provides an alternative to Pho Hoa.
- Cooked items are prepared with care
- Prices are okay
- Open late
- Pho is not the draw here
- Smiles are not free here