Updated 2nd February 2013: This restaurant is closed.
This was a few weeks ago … when there were still a bit of snow. This years seems to have a lot of snow compared to the previous few years. I think the worse is now behind us now … unless mother nature decides we get another dump as a parting winter gift. Spring is sure slow in coming this year, huh?
Anyway … cold weather = hot soup.
And … hot steaming soup = pho.
We knew about this place for a little while already and had it on our “to try” list for a couple of months at least. Pho Tai Hoa is new, I think. It is located at the strip mall where Richmond Sushi is and fronts Capstan Way. You will see Pho Tai Hoa driving along Capstan Way but you need to walk around the corner from the car park to see it.
Pho Tai Hoa seems to be a former seafood restaurant or something. The decor is sea themed which is kind of out of place for a pho place. Still this is one of the cleanest and neatest Vietnamese Pho restaurants we had ever been to. Seems like they pay a lot of attention to details. That, to me, is a sign of a good restaurant and speaks volumes of the people who run this restaurant.
I love their tea cups. This is even better than most upper scale restaurants. We also like the color choice of the table cloth (under a glass surface for practical reasons). Details, details.
Suanne ordered the Hu Tieu Nam Vang (Cambodian Style Rice Noodle in Soup) which came served in a glass bowl. They gave a lot of green onions — the way we like it.
In it are pork ribs, prawns, pork slices, quail eggs, and pork liver. So, you can see that it’s really loaded with ingredients. This is a perfect choice if you want hot soup noodles but wanted to try something else other than pho. The regular is $6.25 and the large one is $7.25.
I have been eating way too much and wanted to take something lighter. The Bi Cuon ($5) was what I had.
It came with some sauce with peanuts in it. Help me out here …what is this dip … what is it made of? What is it called? I like fish sauce better. Not that this is not good.
I thought that this is light but actually ended up feeling full after. I hinted to Suanne that I would love to have these kind of salad rolls at home (with fish sauce, thank you) but I think she did not get it. So, here I am hinting again. 🙂
Nanzaro had the Bun Bo Hue (Beef and Pork with Vermicelli in Spicy Soup). I think he got this simply because it has the word “spicy” in it. I never got a taste but from the looks of it, it looks like it’s loaded with stuff. This one is $7.25.
Arkensen had the #4 … Pho Dac Biet … House Special Noodle Soup with beef brisket, soft tendon, fast brisket, tripe and beef ball. The soup was tasty … that much Suanne and I got out from Arkensen’s bowl. Sigh … he’s a big boy now and does not want mummy and daddy contaminating his food.
A good sign of a good Pho is sometimes judged by the beansprouts they gave. These are really fresh and crunchy … check the roots are browning. These are not.
What we like most about Vietnamese food is that they are cheap and filling. We remember when we were short in money back then, the four of us mostly eat out for just $15 (alright, the boys were kiddos then). I think those days the pho bowl were much larger … rare to find these nowadays.
Even at today’s costs of dining out, anything less than $30 is cheap to us. It was just only last year when Nanzaro was willing to share a dish with mum … no more these days.
The prices here in Pho Tai Hoa was OK. They are as cheap as one can get from other places. What we like best is the food, the cleanliness of the place and the attentive and polite service. We like the Cambodian noodle soup served in the glass bowl too. I recommend you check this place out and see for yourself. Suanne recommends this place too.
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The dipping sauce is usually a hoisin-peanut sauce. I make it with hoisin sauce and peanut butter, with some rice vinegar and water mixed in.
The rolls you had – I’m not sure if bi cuon is the correct name. Bi is shredded pork and usually it’s a brownish color. I think this red meat is usually called nem nuong.
The salad rolls are pretty simple to make at home once you get the hang of handling the rice paper.
Have you guys tried a Pho place on Main and 30th, just across the VW dealership? It is the ‘best’ in our opinion. My other half usually gets one of the beef Pho’s but she asks them to serve the beef raw on the side to avoid it from being too over cooked in the soup. I forgot the name unfortunately but the prices there are quite good too. Quite a clean atmosphere. They get pretty packed by noon on the weekends but if you get there like an early bird around 11am, it is quiet.
I always get their #77 which is a dried vermicelli, served with with chicken and a spring roll. I always see other tables ordering the Vietnam drip coffee, so it must be one of their popular items.
It actually used to be a Bubble Tea place called “Relax”. Perhaps that explains the sailing theme….
Hey Ben & Family, I just had my dose of Pho yesterday! Btw, I’ll “TRY” to bring the sun back to Vancouver this weekend! Ha! Ha!
Hi Angie: Don’t bother bringing back the sunshine to Vancouver. We got lots of it here yesterday. Just don’t bring the rain here this weekend. Have a safe journey home.
I’ve had lunch here two thursdays in a row, thanks to my friend. Good, clean, and they take card! They’re also very friendly. 🙂
I had pho for lunch today. I enjoy pho very much. The only problem is that I find most of them contain lots of MSG.
I’m wondering if you guys know any place in Richmond provides no/little MSG Pho?
The only Pho place we know that claim they do not use MSG is May Vietnamese Cuisine on No 3 Road. However, I think they are closed now — am not sure. Check out this review here: http://chowtimes.com/2008/08/07/may-vietnamese-cuisine-in-richmond/
Thanks so much Ben.