Pho King. Such a cleverly named restaurant. Have you seen their brand/logo design? Amaze balls (buy a t-shirt!). I’ve hit up Pho King a few times by now (good spot when you want something quick and easy before hitting up Rexall Place) but this was the first time I’ve been to their newly renovated digs. Everything is much cleaner and aesthetically pleasing. The right hand side of the resto now consists of a counter instead of seating area.
A and I stopped in for lunch on a Wednesday afternoon. The place was reasonably busy with several tables full along with a few people popping in to pick up takeout orders. The menu is extensive with your typical Vietnamese offerings but they hilariously have a full page dedicated to Western foods/breakfast meals. Random but it must cater to the clientele in the area???
I’ll never understand why so many other Viet/Asian places in town do this. Take a page from Pho Tau Bay’s playbook and focus on one thing and do it well. Bonus, they’re open everyday of the week (Sunday’s now!).
Bun bo hue (P18) ($10.95 king)
I went with their bun bo hue because I’ve never had it here before. The broth was fragrant with a good depth and flavour profile. I found it to be a bit on the lighter/cleaner side if that makes any sense. The meat balls were delicious! A little bit of green onions and sliced onions gives their bowls an extra zip of flavour. Good stuff.
Grilled lemongrass chicken with kimchi (R23) ($13.95)
A was having some trouble deciding but eventually went with the grilled lemongrass chicken skewers over rice with a side of kimchi and vegetables. The lemongrass chicken had an odd texture to it that I can’t put my finger on. It was cooked fine but it must have been the cut of meat that they were using. She only ate one skewer and I ended up taking the rest as leftovers. As for the kimchi, it wasn’t very good – kind of flavourless and a chore to eat. Blah. This is why I rarely, if ever, veer from ordering pho at Vietnamese spots.
On a previous trip, I went with a buddy before an Oilers game where we each ordered pho:
Seafood noodle soup (P17) ($10.95 regular) – a couple shrimps, kabuki, and shrimp balls. The broth was great – flavourful and clean tasting! Sort of sate style but with just a bit of spiciness to it. Definitely would get this again.
Rare steak and meatball beef noodle soup (P8) ($8.95 regular) – my buddy went to town on his bowl. There was nothing left after we finished devouring both of our bowls.
Solid spot to grab a bowl of pho. Prices are reasonable and service is fast. Slightly ghetto area of town but that’s part of it’s charm. Don’t let that hold you back from trying out Pho King.
9103 – 118 Avenue