More adventures in local dining, this time with the parents. Having got in from a hard days work (honest) and hard cycle home (actually a very pleasant ride along the Lochside trail), I didn't want to cook. The parents didn't want to go too far. Pho-ever is close by, and a regular stand by for me.
Pho-ever has Pho in the title, but the menu extends beyond bowls of beef and noodle soup, and has an extensive Korean range of meals, plus a nod to the Japanese Bento box. And a wide selection of bubble tea. The Korean food is the best I've had in town, but I'm not an expert on Korean cuisine itself, so it might be catering for this Brit's tastes. The Chicken Ggan Pong Gi (S-6) blends a good spicy heat, crispy meat and a pile of sweet/sour veggies. I have to remember to try other things when I go in, but it's a favourite.
This time though, I did want something less spicy and simpler. Plus I'd been thinking about Pho all day, so a big bowl of Pho was ordered for myself (P8 - with Brisket, Flank and Rare Steak slices) and my father (P9 - same as mine with added meatballs). Mum decided to try the Chick Duphab with BBQ sauce, craving something unspiced (on their previous visit the heat had been a bit more than they expected).
But to kick off, two orders of Spring Roll and a Kiwi Bubble tea was ordered. Mum had wanted to know what Bubble tea was, and my vague description of "iced fruit tea with tapioca" wasn't really doing it justice. A bright green glass with black frog spawn lurking at the bottom arrived, and I fully expected to have a Bubble Tea to finish off with my Jasmine Tea. Nope. While not being a taste revelation, I think it was at least an interesting diversion. But she'll not be demanding more trips to the Bubble tea Emporiums of BC.
The spring rolls were hot, a little greasy, but packed with a nice mix of meat and veg. Crisp and kicked things of nicely. Then the Pho arrived. For those who don't know pho, it seems to be pronounced by Anglophones like 'faux', which leads to all sorts of puns (also nearby is Pho-nomenal). However, I'm not sure that the original Vietnamese is pronounced that way, and it's meant to be said more like "fuh".
However it's pronounced, it's a big bowl of rice noodles, covered with cooked (or partially cooked) meat, and then covered with a light spiced beef broth. The heat of the broth finishes the cooking process of. You then add bean sprouts, coriander, chilli and lime to your liking, give it a quick stir and eat.
The meat can be your straight forward beef flank/brisket/steak slices. Or sliced tendon, tripe, ox tail. Or in other cases chicken, fish or vegetables. Pho-ever used to advertise in the Vegeterian section "veggie pho" which was made with beef broth. Hmm. That's come out of the menu now, and is in the meat eaters section.
I like their pho. The broth has a very slight gingery sweetness, and the meat is all well prepared and neither tough or over soft and soggy. The rare meat slices are red, and cook of perfectly in the heat of the broth, and the noodles are just slick enough to carry the broth. I like Pho in general. It's hearty, it's not complicated and I'm sure it has good hydration properties before a night on the drinks, or after a hard work out.
I haven't quite mastered the art of a good noodle slurp without inhaling my food, but can manage the chop sticks well enough to feed. Dad had a little more trouble than me, but they provided a big serving spoon and a western fork if you request it. But it's fun sometimes to struggle a bit with your meal. Again, I don't think it was food revelation, but he enjoyed trying something a bit different and new. Mum was very happy with the rice and chicken dish, and we all left very happily content, fed and ready to face the weekend...
Bubble Tea - $3.95
Spring Roll (x2) - $3.95 each
Beef Pho (x2) - $8.45 each
Chicken Dupbabh - $8.95
Tsingtao Beer - $5.00
Total Bill, including Taxes and Tip : $55
Address : 1669 Pear St., Victoria, BC.
Phone : (250) 388-0028
Website : http://www.facebook.com/phoevervictoria