Pho Nam: Comforting Vietnamese Food
Earlier this year, I noticed a new Vietnamese place open up on the corner of 8th Ave and 12th Street in New Westminster called Pho Nam. The interior is quite spacious and there’s plenty of light coming in the windows.
On my first visit, I ordered the Bun Cha Ca or Fish Cake Vermicelli ($10.25). This dish is probably more famously known in Vancouver from the appropriately named Bun Cha Ca Hoang Yen on Victoria drive. When the bowl arrived at my table, the aroma of the fresh dill was quite noticeable. The clear broth has a distinctive tomatoey flavour so it’s much lighter than your typical pho dish.
Overall, not bad. However, I found that the thin rice vermicelli noodles didn’t compare to the one I had at Hoang Yen.
On my next visit, I tried their Spring Rolls ($5.25) and Banh Mi Dac Biet ($5.50). Based on the pictures in the menu, I wasn’t expecting too much for the spring rolls but I was pleasantly surprised when they brought it out and saw that they used a rice paper wrapper. These freshly fried spring rolls crisped up nicely.
Their special banh mi had all of the things that make for a good banh mi sandwich… nice crusty roll, crunchy pickled veggies, a variety of sliced meats as well as pate… love how it all works together.
On my next visit, I ordered the Shrimp and Pork Salad Rolls ($5.75) and Tapioca Dumplings ($8). I’ve had salad rolls before and the version here was pretty good and I liked their peanut sauce. However, I’ve never tried tapioca dumplings before… I was intrigued by the picture in the menu. These small minced pork and prawn dumplings and encased in sticky and chewy (in a good way) translucent tapioca and then wrapped in banana leaves. It’s a bit difficult to eat without getting your fingers sticky but I actually enjoyed the mochi-like texture with the savory meat in the filling.
On a visit in mid-September, I noticed that their grand opening discount is no longer available. However, prices are still fairly reasonable. I ordered the Com Dac Biet or Pho Nam Special Rice ($11.50) with gives you an option on your choice of protein. With the dish, you get a beautifully fried egg with crispy edges and a runny yolk, tender lemongrass chicken, and a crispy spring roll.
I figured it was time that I finally try one of their traditional pho dishes so I ordered the Rare Beef, Flank, and Tendon ($10). It came with beautifully rare beef on top of the noodles with big pieces of tender tendon and slices of flank in a clean and subtle broth. While the flank was a bit dry, I really enjoyed the rare beef (it’s not often that I find rare beef in pho that is actually rare).
So, overall, there are some pretty good comforting Vietnamese dishes here and it’s a welcome addition to the neighbourhood.
1188 8th Ave
New Westminster, BC
Posted on November 27, 2019, in Restaurant Review, Vietnamese and tagged Banh Mi, Bun Cha Ca, Com Dac Biet, Food, New Westminster, Pho, Pork and Shrimp Salad Rolls, restaurant review, Spring Rolls, Tapioca Dumplings, Vietnamese. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.