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Nov 24, 2011 09:25 AM

Pho in the 905

Getting tired of the excessive MSG in Pho 88's Pho, and was curious (as I am sure they are out there....just where!?) as to some suggestions for Pho in the Thornhill / Richmondhill area.


Pho 88 Restaurant
888 Dundas E, Mississauga, ON L4Y4G6, CA

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  1. I have not tried either of these places but driving by yesterday I noticed a Vic Hong at Major Mac and Bayview on the north west corner (in the plaza) and accross the street on the east side of Bayview there was another pho place. I don't remember the name, I refer to it as train place (there is one on the sign).

    Vic Hong Restaurant
    4419 Sheppard Ave E, Toronto, ON M1S1V1, CA

    9 Replies
    1. re: sweetie

      Definitely stray from the Richmond Hill/Thornhill area a bit and head to Pho Dau Bo at Finch, west of Weston. It's worth the drive. It's a bustling place that delivers a great bowl of pho. I can't say how much MSG they use, if any, but I assume most places use at least a bit. I haven't had a bad bowl at Pho Dau Bo yet. In fact, I haven't been able to even look beyond the pho on the menu. I get there so rarely, I just can't bear not to order it. This is a good place to get your rare beef on a side plate, so you can put it in your bowl an take it out when it's cooked to your liking. I love that the menu offers a whole selection of side items that you can add to your order, like tendon, a fried egg, blood cubes, etc. I keep meaning to try their papaya salad with beef jerky, but again, the large pho calls to me. The broth is so good that I drink every drop, despite the sodium content. I also love that among the condiments is a plastic container of thinly sliced Scotch bonnet chiles in vinegar. Both the chiles and the vinegar do spectacular things to a bowl of pho. Did I mention I love this place?

      1. re: 1sweetpea

        Interesting....your intriciate detail is swaying me there....I can almost feel the drag! Perhaps thats where i will go in the near future?

        Any idea if they use fish sauce in their pho? My wife is allergic and I must exercise caution.

        Is it true then, that the 'area of hills' lacks any good pho!?

        1. re: Sadistick

          My parents rate the one on the south side of Steeles across from Pac Mall highly. I can't remember the name but maybe Charles does.

          As for west end, along with Pho Dau Bo there's Pho Con Bo and Pho Mi Asia.

          Pho Mi Asia
          1248 Dundas St E, Mississauga, ON L4Y2C1, CA

          1. re: aser

            If it's the little house across from P mall next to the GO station, that would be Kim Bo. I think it's the same as the one at Times Square.

            Kim Bo Restaurant
            358 Bathurst St, Toronto, ON M5T2S6, CA

            1. re: caitlink

              You are right!

              BTW, ' Locomotive' just opened up a small branch at Bayview and Major Mac across from Bayview Secondary!

              There's a Pho place inside Chalmers on Highway7 diagonally across from John's B-B-Q that's pretty good too.

              1. re: caitlink

                Its Kim Po actually,, hands down the best tasting broth in the city. the amount of meat and and noodles is perfect...well worth the drive no matter what part of the city your in. I

                1. re: BlackChap

                  We are going to have to try Kim Po out then as it's not terribly far....

                  As an aside, any idea if they use fish sauce in their stock? Any specific items they do particularly well?

                  1. re: Sadistick

                    I have only had the Pho there sorry.

            2. re: Sadistick

              You really need to ask the staff at Pho Dau Bo to check with the person(s) making the broth. I wouldn't dare tell you either way when there's an allergy issue. Sorry I can't say for sure. I thought the fish sauce was standard.

        2. After trying the newly opened ''Pho Xe Lua' on 10060 Bayview Avenue ( NW corner Bayview/Major Mac ). IMO, this place is worthy of being one of the best Pho place candidate in 'Richmond Hill'. Vic Hong across the road, unfortunately, will be in biggggg trouble!!:(

          Bright, roomy, clean and modern elegant, Xe Lua's set up is definitely a rarity amongst Vietnamese Pho places.

          On to the food:

          We ordered a Vermicelli with B-B-Q beef and shredded pig's skin and pork. The beef was superbly prepared. Great seasoning and smoky flavour. Delicious!!!!

          I had a large Pho with rare beef and fatty brisket. Really nice to see the rare beef was indeed 'rare' when the bowl arrived at the table. (A picture is worth a thousand words!!). The amount of meat they piled on top of the noodles was also unreal! Broth was very meaty and flavourful. A slightly more heavy handed on the spices, especially the star anise, would make the broth perfect!

          Overall a nice dining experience, even though our male server was a bit green and made a few mistakes with our order - corrected fortunately by his colleagues!

          4 Replies
          1. re: Charles Yu

            Really wanted to like that new place at bayview and major mac, but the soup was not hot enough and they used the WRONG type of noodles (hor fun) which got soaked and limped to be almost inedible after 10 minutes. Everything is 'approximated vietnamnese' there. Am I having too high an expectation? :(

            1. re: tyatt

              Interesting?! Our broth was very hot, enough to cook the rare beef! As for the Pho, its the same type of 'rice noodle' as used by other Vietnamese places in the area??!! Mystified by your comment!

            2. re: Charles Yu

              Charles, do you think they used MSG in the broth of the pho? I have an aversion to MSG and have yet to find a pho restaurant that does not use MSG. By the way, your reviews (and pics) are very helpful. Keep them coming!

              1. re: bojangles

                I have yet to eat in a Vietnamese Pho place in Toronto that DOES NOT use MSG!!! ( no matter what they say or claim )!

            3. There's another Pho Xe Lua in the 905. It's been there for 10+ yrs and was recently renovated (thank God!). It's on Steeles, west of Yonge and across from Centrepoint.

              Xelua Vietnamese Restaurant
              180 Steeles Avenue West, Thornhill, ON L4J 2L1, Canada

              2 Replies
              1. re: Aleta

                So glad for the new location at Bayview & Major Mac. It is much closer to home but not as large as the Yonge/Steeles location (our usual).

                We were at Bayview location on the weekend and were very pleased expect for a couple of minor quibbles. My vegetarian spring roll was much greasier than the Thornhill location but overall I was very happy with my vegetarian vermicelli which included chopped mint which I never got at the other place. Unfortunately the fresh chili pepper that came with my husband's pho was rotted on the inside.

                Because it is closer to home, takeout is definitely an option if there are line ups.

                1. re: mrsleny

                  Come to think of it, a few of our beansprouts weren't at their prime either!!

              2. Fantastic! Thank you both (et all) - will have to try these two out to compare.