Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
Dec 5, 2007 06:42 PM

new Pho 88 at Yonge/Empress Walk

There is a new Pho 88 that just opened up this week at Yonge/Empress Walk. North of Empress Walk and east side of Yonge.. across from Asian Legend. anyone try it? How is it in comparison to the other vietnamese restaurants in the area?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Pho88 is a chain. Have not been to that location. Was recently to the spadina location. Stay away.
    They seem to have lost their viet roots and have sprouted a way too large menu.
    If you really crave pho, then head to the steeles vic park area for a larger selection of better quality.

    8 Replies
    1. re: dancingTimmy

      But is there better Pho than that served at the Pho 88 at Bamburgh Circle which is very near the Vic Park/ Steeles area?

      1. re: T Long

        Last winter I did a Pho tasting of over a dozen Pho places. and I put Pho 88 at Bamburgh number 1.
        The closest to Pho 24 in Saigon, with the only minus being the absence of scallions and saw.
        I was disappointed this year, and after two trips, the latest being this week, I will not return.
        The squid was the texture of rubber, the summer rolls were mostly lettuce, and tasteless, and most important the pho, the stock was weaker, the tendon mushy, the basil sparse, and everything else just O.K.

        1. re: erly

          Wow erly - that's too bad. Do you happen to have a recommendation of your new #1?

          1. re: Yum2MyTum

            Sorry, no
            I had Krispy Rolls, on Warden just south of Eglinton a distant second.
            Pho Phung has gotten raves here, and the broth is rich, but i found the other elements sadly lacking.Won't be doing a testing this season, as after so many mediocre tastings, I am taking a break from Pho

            1. re: erly

              Thanks for the response, erly. Sorry to hear that you're pho-d out.

          2. re: erly

            erly: Sorry to hear about this, its been a while since I've been there. The one thing that always stood out for me about the Bamburgh Pho 88 was how hot the broth was coming out of the kitchen, something that I highly appreciated. Maybe they are starting to settle (be complacent) as the place is always jammed, especially at lunchtime, and they don't feel they have to try so hard....too bad if this the case. Have you identified a current # 1?

            1. re: erly

              I have posted about Pho 88 @Bamburgh on other pho post and I have mentioned I am not too impressed by them.I know it still has a huge fan following and they will come hard on me,but my expereinces have not been good.As mentioned before,the broth was weak and the noodles were soggy and worse ,the broth was not hot.and this was at 2:45 in the afternoon,when i thought that the kitchen would not be that busy.I have gone their during their peak period and again was not too impressed.
              I would like to try this new location and see how it is

              1. re: warlock

                Pho 88 @ Bamburgh was one of the first places I've tried pho and loved it. Now with so many pho places, I've been able to compare and my taste buds have learned to decipher good pho from bad pho. IMO, the best pho in the city is Hanoi at the corner of Broadview and Gerrard. They also have really great service too.

        2. Tried the Pho 88 on Yonge today.. .it was packed @ 12:45pm friday. I haven't been to their other locations recently, but they must be trying to copy/compete with Spring Rolls, since their menu now includes chinese dishes (chow mein, etc), various curries and Thai dishes as well. The ambiance was definitely geared towards the younger/trendier crowd, with sleek modern black chairs/tables and waiters all dressed in black, all white stylish plates and pop music in the background.

          My wife had the spicy soup pho, she though it was just ok. I had the vermicelli with grilled chicken and spring roll. They gave me a whole chicken leg, cooked beautifully (juicy on the inside, well seasoned skin). Probably the best grilled meat from a Vietnamese restaurant that I've ever had. That terrible Vic Hong place in Richmond Hill can learn a thing or two about how to cook meat properly from this Pho 88. Spring roll was nothing special (deep fried). I'm not a big pho lover, so I can't comment on their pho quality.

          I usually got to the Vietnamese place @ First Markham place (can't remember the name), and the Viet Pho near the T&T @ Warden/Steeles. Occasionally I got to Rice Paper (if I'm really pressed for time, since it's close to work), but I'll make a trip to try the Bamburgh circle someday.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Royaljelly

            I, too, like Viet Pho. It's not well known but clean and authentic. I also like a place at First Markham. The one I go to is Lemon Tree. it's the smaller and newer one. Their lunch specials are excellent. We had the Hunan Chicken with Rice and the curry fish for lunch this week. All the specials were tasty.

          2. I went to Pho 88 Empress Walk tonight for dinner. It looked and tasted like a typical franchise operation. Cleaner and nicer decor than most Pho restaurants, with other types of Asian foods, but has no Pho chararcters. The Pho soup noodles tasted okay. We ordred Stir Fried Chinese Brocollli. It tasted good, but the appearance was shocking. It was a small portion just thrown on a big plate that looked like left over, sauce all over the edge. The service was decent.

            What a contrast to Pho Dau Bo, 2437 Finch Avenue West, which I went recently and it has to be one of the best Vietnamese Restaurant in Toronto.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Caneast

              where is bamburgh circle? is it warden and steeles? or mccowan and steeles? thanks.

              1. re: caitlink

                Bamburgh Circle:Its a light after Steeles, South of Warden

                FYI: McCowan and Steeles would be Alton Towers Circle

                1. re: warlock

                  thanks i will go today. Pho 88 was 1 of Toronto Life's top 100 taste. I will try it out to see if the hype is real.

            2. The original comment has been removed
              1. Has anyone tried enough different Pho 88's to be able to comment on their consistency from location to location. Execution of the franchise procedures can vary quite a bit, so I find it very often unfair or inaccurate to judge a chain based on one location....good or bad.

              2. Lunch at Pho 88 Yonge/Empress walk today. Enjoyed my choices of deep fried veg. spring roll, dressed with crushed peanuts - came with a side of pickled carrot/white radish that I really enjoyed and a soya dipping sauce that was spicy and salty. Looked hand-made and was quite large. Followed with chicken satay (really yummy - spicy and charcoal cooked) over a mango salad (not green) that included red onion and red peppers. Lots of chopped cashews. Delish - all for $11.00. Lots of young funky servers who provided deft and fast service. I'll be back.