Not long ago, there was a 24-hour Pho joint named Kim Penh Xe Lua on Broadway at Cambie. I had visited it on several occasions because nothing else was open. For me, I thought the food was acceptable but hardly memorable. Hey, what can you expect at 2am in the morning??? While on one of our very early morning food adventures after Friday night hockey (should it be called Saturday morning hockey?) at Kim Penh Xe Lua, the owner stated they were moving across the street. And so they did, into the location formerly occupied by an AYCE Japanese joint. So on another Saturday morning hockey game (yah, that's what I'll call it from now on), we headed over to their new digs and apparently new name (Pho Extreme Xe Lua).
We started with the Spring Rolls which sported a rice paper wrapper. The small rolls were dense and only slightly crunchy while exhibiting a mild flavour. It was pretty average. For myself, I went for a large Phnom Penh Dry Rice Noodle and it was not really all that large. The one thing that really annoyed me with this dish was that all of the ingredients were stone cold. The crab stick and fish balls were seemingly just removed from the refrigerator. Very unappealing in texture and taste. I hate cold sticks and balls! Er... The noodles were okay though, being slightly chewy, however, I found the sauce quite salty. Yes, I see the irony with cold, salty sticks and balls... In fact, the Pho that Milhouse and Sweet Tooth were munching on was equally salty and very sweet. I'm thinking too much MSG here. Despite that, the noodles were good and the meats were sliced thin and tender. Milhouse went for the extra large size and it didn't seem like much more food than the large.
Lionel Hutz had the Beef Stew and it was yes, salty as well. He did remark there were other distinguishing flavours including a hint of spice. The beef shank was really fork tender and moist. Gordo had the Curry Chicken which was very flavourful as well, yet lacking in curry flavour. The chicken had been braised to the point it was falling off from the bone. He really wanted more rice than they had provided though. Seeing how my noodles were not very substantial, I had the Special Sub as well. Although dense, the bread was sufficiently crusty. However, I would've liked to see some butter mayo and pate as the whole thing was rather dry. There was only a splash of Maggi sauce to go with the sliced ham and pickled daikon and carrot. This was a pretty average banh mi that was missing critical elements. As you can clearly see, the food is passable, but not much more than that. However, as stated, what can one expect from a 24 hour joint. We were just thankful to eat food that didn't come from Denny's or Knight & Day...
- Open 24 hours
- Good selection of eats
- Only passable
- Not sure about the large and extra-large, sure didn't seem like it