Sherman's Food Adventures: Pho Galaxy

Pho Galaxy

There we were, driving home from Kelowna on our last leg of our 3-week road trip.  Amazingly, we weren't that tired nor were we sick on one another.  However, one thing that was for certain - we needed food badly (a la Gauntlet, if you are old enough to know this reference).  Not just any type of food that is, we wanted Asian food, specifically something soupy or noodley (is that a word???).  One quick search for Pho in Chilliwack (as we were driving by) resulted in Pho Galaxy.  I vaguely remembered my cousin raving about the place, so we quickly entered it into the GPS.  Now, I also returned for another visit shortly after with Mijune because she wanted to see for herself if it was as good as people have indicated.

So we essentially had the same dishes that I had the first time including the Phở Dặc Biệt.  As you can see on the side, not only was there the usual sprouts, peppers and lime, we also found saw leaf herb.  This is rare to find and relatively expensive.  Back to the pho, the broth wasn't in-your-face impactful.  Rather, it was subtle and clean.  There were notes of sweetness, meatiness and background star anise at the very end.  Meats were good, however the noodles were a bit overdone.  Now the real star of the meal was the Bún Bò Huế due to the incredible broth.  This one was in-your-face with a balanced spiciness to go with equal amounts of fermented shrimpiness.  So aromatic and full of depth.  I wish they had included pork blood and knuckle to make it completely legit, but this was good nonetheless.  Make sure you ask for the thicker lai fun as they default to regular rice noodles if you don't specify.

Trying to get a few different items from my last meal and to also take their recommendations, we got the Deep Fried Squid as well as the House Special Chow Mein.  I'm going to get right to the point about these 2 dishes - they were okay, but hardly something I would drive out to Chilliwack for.  The batter on the squid was a bit too thick for my liking and it wasn't as crunchy as it appeared.  Furthermore, it wasn't seasoned enough.  Mind you, there was a sweet and sour dip served on the side.  The squid itself was tender with an appealing chew.  Despite what I said, the chow mein was still decent and prepared properly.  Noodles were crunchy and there was no shortage of ingredients on top.  I thought the dish was on the milder side, but that wouldn't stop someone from adding vinegar and/or hot sauce.

We had to get a rice dish to make the meal complete, so we also took their recommendation and got the Lemongrass Chicken and Pork Chop on Rice (we added a fried egg too).  Clearly seen in the picture, the meats were aggressively charred and hence there was a caramelized smokiness to go with the ample brine.  I thought the meats were trending to the drier side, but they were still tender.  Rice was prepared right being fluffy while still chewy and not wet. So after 2 visits to Pho Galaxy, it begs the question, is it worth it to drive all the way out to Chilliwack?  Well, if it is for the Bún Bò Huế, specifically the awesome broth, then yes, I would drive out for it.  However, if that doesn't matter to you much, then no, you can stay in town for equally good Pho (like Pho Tam in Surrey).

The Good:
- That Bún Bò Huế broth
- They go saw leaf herb
- Super nice people

The Bad:
- Pho is good, but not mind-blowing
- It is far for those who do not live in Chilliwack or Abbotsford


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