On December 8th, Ben from Chowtimes tried out a restaurant in a humble neighborhood where it had an honorable mention of being the most authentic tasting pho on this side of Vancouver. One of the things that Ben has heard was that this restaurant serves horse meat pho. At that time when Ben wanted to ask if they sell this exotic pho, he was intimidated by the bossy owner lady. After I commented his post, I was given the mission of asking if they sell horse meat.
With a mission on my mind and a few reasons to go, I decided to check it out. On that day, I had a cold (kinda recovering) and I had to visit the dentist. I felt lazy that day and didn’t have time to make brunch so I decided to trek down there.
Lam Hoa Quan is located on Victoria Drive between East 34th and 35th. Basically the sign that you see here is the same writing and color as the awning.
As I entered into the restaurant, I was promptly seated by the window near the door. I was given the menu and some tea to start. Even though it was an hour before noon, the restaurant had quite a number of customers eating there. There were 2 servers there, one male and one female (possible boss lady?). Since I knew what I wanted to order, I waited patiently for the male server. Once I made eye contact with the male server, I made my order and asked if they sell horse meat pho. The male server was nice enough to explain to me that they used to sell horse meat pho about a year ago. Since it was not such a popular item, the restaurant decided to eliminate it from the menu. After saying that, he enthusiastically told me that they have goat on the menu.
Now you have it Ben, they don’t serve horse meat, but they do serve goat. 🙂
Before my pho came, a dish of bean sprouts, shallots, lime wedge, hot pepper slices, and basil arrived at the table. I was quite amazed at the condiments that I was given. Usually at other pho places, they only give the bean sprouts, lime wedge, Thai Basil and/or the hot pepper.
Another condiment that arrived at the table is the pepper salt. This is used for the chicken in the pho. What you do is squeeze the lime into the pepper salt and then mix it all together and then dip the chicken into it for extra flavoring.
And now, time for the pho!
What I ordered was the Pho Ga Dac Biet (House Special Chicken Noodles). It’s perfect for such a cold day and such a fitting remedy for the cold that I have been trying to fend off. The Pho Ga was quite flavorful. The broth tasted like the chicken had aromatics added to it and was then simmered on low heat to create such a savory broth. As for the chicken, it was perfectly cooked and was firm. Same thing goes for the noodles. I ate the noodles with a combination of the condiments of shallot, red chili, cilantro with a bit of soup. Let’s just say that this combination is very delicious!
Overall, Lam Hoa Quan offers authentic tasting pho without the addition of MSG. I totally recommend the Pho Ga Dat Biet as it has a delightful full-bodied flavor soup and the chicken was cooked perfectly.
Lam Hoa Quan
5073 Victoria Drive
Service: (Didn’t get the boss lady. HAHA!)
Value: The Pho Ga Dat Biet costs $7. Slightly expensive than most places and this is the large size. Overall, totally worth it.
Ambience: Medium-sized cozy Vietnamese restaurant with TVs.