Pho Quyen on Fraser Street is a Vietnamese restaurant that was once located on East Broadway. It now sits on a partially dark, quiet residential block next to the Chinese vegetarian restaurant Bodhi Choi Heung. Pho Quyen serves a familiar, but comforting set of Vietnamese dishes.
(Above: Pho Quyen isn’t all the much to look at. Luckily the food more than makes up for it. )
The restaurant is spacious with not much to look at. Dark burgundy tables and chairs look dreary against the pale walls. The somewhat gloomy atmosphere is broken when the owner begins singing to some radio tunes.
(Above: Bun Mang Vit — Vietnamese Duck Noodle Soup with bamboo and served with a side of sweetened fish sauce.)
I’ve been to the previous location on East Broadway, and have fond memories of the food. In particular, the Bun Mang Vit — bamboo shoots and duck noodle soup. Generously portioned, tender, meaty pieces of duck are swimming in chicken broth and vermicelli noodles, and garnished with cilantro, onions, and bamboo shoots and topped with fried bits of shallots. The broth was mild and went perfectly with the duck letting the dipping sauce take center stage. The sauce itself was fantastic: finely minced ginger, garlic, fish sauce, lime, water and sugar helped take the boiled duck to the next level. A small side of crisp shredded cabbage, bean sprouts, jalapenos and lime is presented for you to garnish your meal as you please.
(Above: Fresh garnish help make a Vietnamese meal — bean sprouts, basil, peppers and a sweetened fish sauce mixture.)
Secondly, the Bun Bo Hue: a spicy beef concoction made with shrimp paste, fish sauce and other spices. The beef broth was spicy with a good depth of flavour. Thin rice noodles were accompanied by raw white onions, cilantro and tender sliced beef. The only thing noticeably absent was the pig’s knuckle.
(Above: Bun Bo Hue, a spicy beef noodle soup flavoured with shrimp paste and fish sauce.)
Our bill including taxes and tips came to just under $19, which is about on par for most Vietnamese noodle restaurants. Pho Quyen is a bit of dive, but the dishes make up for it. I’m glad to see Pho Quyen has stayed true to their roots and are still banging out some home style Vietnamese comfort food for us to enjoy.
Perfect for: Vietnamese comfort food.
3916 Fraser Street, Vancouver
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