Pho Maxima Restaurant – One of the Top 5 Vietnamese Places in New West
I’ve probably driven by Pho Maxima a number of times over the years and never noticed it. Located in New Westminster only a couple of blocks away from the Burnaby border, you can often see the Southbound traffic heading down 20th street block the entrance to the little mini plaza that it’s located in.
Strangely enough, Burnaby has no shortage of Vietnamese restaurants where you can find a decent Bánh Mì (Vietnamese subs) but once you hit New Westminster, your choices dry up considerably. I think there’s only 5 Vietnamese places listed in all of New West.
I picked up a couple of Bánh Mì to go… the Grilled Chicken and the Cold Cut with Ham.
I was pleasantly surprised to find a healthy amount of veggies – I love the tangy crunch of the pickled daikon (it also had carrots, cucumber, and cilantro for good measure).
At $3.75 each, these were pretty good – the bread had that distinct crusty exterior that you expect in a good Bánh Mì. I would have liked it more if they used some fish sauce to enhance the aroma/flavour.
Service was friendly and they provided me with complimentary tea while I waited for my subs.
I came back here for lunch to try out their pho – this is their small Rare Beef and Brisket with Rice Noodle soup ($5.85). For an extra $1, you can get the large bowl but I have to say that the small bowl is a pretty good size for lunch. I’m glad that this dish actually had nicely pink rare beef in it (I’ve been to some places where their “rare” beef was overcooked). The brisket is actually thinly sliced beef brisket (as opposed to thick chunks which is what I was expecting) and was pretty tender. The broth was flavourful and had onions, cilantro, and green onions in it. I added a bit of hot chili oil (as well as a squeeze of lime and jalepeño pepper for an extra kick).
Recently, I also tried some items from their take-out menu including the Grilled Minced Pork Sub.
The BBQ Pork Chop and Fried Egg on Rice ($7.00) has a bit of lemongrass flavour to it… and doesn’t everything taste better with a fried egg on top?
The BBQ Chicken with Shrimp Paste and Spring Roll on Rice Vermicelli ($7.85) is a nice way to try out a bunch of things from the menu or if you can’t decide on what to have.
Note: This place is closed on Tuesdays.
Food: 4 / 5
Service: 4 / 5
822 20th Street
New Westminster, BC