Updated: 24th Jan 2011: This restaurant is closed but the Westminster location is still open.
When our lives were simpler and our boys were toddlers, we often eat out on weekends at Vietnamese restaurants a lot. That was because Vietnamese restaurants gave us a lot of value for money. Back then I remember that we would spend not more than $16 each time the whole family dine out. Yeah, back then a “#1 Special Large” is just $7 and that came with a spring roll.
Closer to home, we would go to Pho Viet. Yeah, we went to Pho Viet a lot. Back then Pho Viet is located on Ackroyd, near where Nandos and Suhang is today. Take a look at the early day chowtimes post of Pho Viet on Ackroyd which I wrote way back in July 2006. He he he … that post was some sweet and short. Not long winded like today.
And then chowtimes came along. We started looking for different places to eat … we hardly ever return to the crime scene anymore, so to speak. Over time, Pho Viet fell out of sight … out of mind … and before we know it the Pho Viet which was a family favourite was gone. It closed and we did not know why.
I know that the Mike, owner of Pho Viet, reads chowtimes and so am going to pose an open question to him … can the owner of Pho Viet tell us more why the old Pho Viet went missing for some time? I am curious. 🙂
The name Pho Viet is such a generic name for a Vietnamese restaurant. There was once another Pho Viet on Kingsway which we liked a lot. That Pho Viet had since closed too. For a moment, we thought that the Pho Viet on Kingsway was the Pho Viet of Richmond on steroids. Guess it was not as our readers quickly set the records straight.
Well, the Pho Viet that we so loved is back — back with a vengeance. Not only have they reopened, they reopened with TWO restaurants. They are just a few blocks from one another. The first one is located in the strip mall on Westminster Hwy, across the street from the Richmond Public Market.
The other one (this post) is located in the Empire Center strip mall on No 3 Road where Buffet King (ex-Hon’s) is. This Pho Viet takes over the previous location of West Lake which was another favourite Vietnames restaurant of ours. We like West Lake because it was a blend of Vietnamese and HK Style Cafe — they gave free milk tea with every order of pho!
Some people are very sensitive to authenticity of a restaurant, particularly cuisines such as Japanese, Korean or Vietnamese. To some these restaurants must be ethnically owned … and NOT Chinese owned in order to be considered authentic. People tends to snub their noses, for example, on a ramen restaurant if they find out that it is Chinese owned. Likewise too with Vietnamese restaurant.
Guilty as charged. We do sometimes judge a restaurant like that. 🙂
So when we sat down, we strained our ears and see if we hear whether Vietnamese or Chinese is spoken in this restaurant. He he he … yeah … we heard them speaking in Cantonese.
I shouldn’t say all these, I know. All that matters really is if the food is good and gives value right?
Anyway, we know now that Pho Viet’s owners are ethnic Vietnamese but speaks both Cantonese and Vietnamese if that matters to you.
Nanzaro ordered the … Spring Roll and Grilled Minced Pork on Vermicelli ($7). Back in his toddler days he likes pho with beef balls. See? He is getting more sophisticated now. Yeah, sometimes I have to remind myself he is no longer our baby anymore.
It does look very enticing. The piece of grilled minced pork looks delicious and so was the spring rolls.
As sophisticated as he thinks he is, he still does not eat vegetables. He made his mum take away all the bean sprouts from his bowl. 🙂
And mum who does not want to waste the bean sprouts ended up having a bowl of it for dinner.
For old time sake, I ordered the very dish I often ordered at the old Pho Viet. This is the Curried Chicken on Steamed Rice ($7). The bowl of curried chicken *looks* bigger than I thought it used to look. There is a LOT of curry.
I am picking on the rice that was served with the curried chicken. Hey, I thought real authentic Vietnamese restaurants serves broken rice. These rice is too perfect. 🙂
The curry is still like the ones I like a lot. It is sweetish and rich. There were so much curry that I drenched the rice with it and have lots left over too.
I also ordered 2 extra spring rolls ($3.50) because I saw the next table having this. Yeah, I like crispy skin with blisterings like this. No regret. Very nice.
Suanne ordered the Chicken House Special which is just $6. Really cheap huh?
The dish came with quail eggs, shredded chicken and meat balls. Suanne said this is just average — nothing much to it.
Pho Viet accepts cash only.
It was another good dining out. At the table, we were talking about KevJumba. You know who KevJumba is? I did not know until recently.
You see, one of Suanne and my favourite TV shows is the Amazing Race. We watch every episode but our boys does not share our interest at all … not until this season’s Amazing Race. I was curious why and the boys told me it is because KevJumba is one of the teams competing this season. LOL!
They were telling me that KevJumba is one of the top YouTubers where their videos were watched 31,000,000 times! Yeah, they won’t want to be a food blogger but they fancy being a top notch YouTuber. 🙂
Watch one of the videos of KevJumba and you understand when I say that salvation is at hand. My boys thinks that KevJumba is cool and KevJumba is a father and son team. :-O
So I was talking to them about the possibility of US doing YouTube like KevJumba. He he he … they are keen! So what do you think … of chowtimes does something like this? I bet some of you will be thrilled.
Goofy dad and cute sons. LOL!
One thing we always like about Pho Viet is that it is value for money. Their pricing is cheap and the menu simple.
Hey … did you notice that their menu (above left) also has the “50 cents charge for take outs”?