Pho 99 (Richmond)

After having liege waffles and hot chocolate at Leonidas, we headed back to Richmond for dinner at Pho 99. My parents had been there before and they said the food was pretty bad, so we went there with the sole purpose of using up our remaining deal voucher. Silly me... Why did I buy so many deal vouchers? The place looked better than I had imagined with its bright and clean and new-looking sign.

The interior was a different story. The tables and seats didn't look particularly clean, but I suppose I've seen worse. The menus looked like they had been dropped into the toilet, blown dry and taped back together because the pages were hopelessly wrinkly and grimy. I flipped through the pages and found that the prices were really cheap! We ordered 2 set combos to share ($8.95 each). Each combo included a choice of appetizer, an entree and a drink. After we placed our orders, the waitress brought over the typical garnish plate of bean sprouts, basil and lime wedges. As usual I left it alone. I only like adding lime juice to my pho, but I could do without.

For the appetizer, we chose a salad roll (越式沙律卷) and a grilled minced pork roll (燒稔肉卷). I thought the salad roll was a lot tastier because there were a lot of ingredients including shrimp, lettuce, vermicelli and even a thin slice of Vietnamese ham. The pork roll was comparatively more boring since the flavour of the meat dominated everything else.

I chose the usual pho tai, or noodle soup with eye round steak (生灼牛肉粉) for my entree. The pho was not as bad as I had expected, but the soup was definitely a bit weak. And just like at Green Lemongrass, the supposed-to-be-rare beef was not rare at all. Honestly do I have the wrong idea about what "rare beef" means? Does it mean something else in Vietnamese? Given how tough and chewy the "rare beef" was, I wonder what their "well-done flank" would taste like. No actually I don't want to find out.

We ordered a Vietnamese submarine ($3.75) on top of the combos. We chose grilled pork filling and it actually tasted like satay pork. The bread was crusty on the outside, but rather soft on the inside. This sandwich turned out to be pretty enjoyable. And it was really cheap!

We decided to try something new for our drinks. We passed on the typical HK style drinks and instead went for the hot Vietnamese style salty lemonade (越式鹹檸檬水). It wasn't lemon water with salt as I had imagined. It was actually hot water boiled with salted preserved lemon! If you've ever been to a Chinese candy/dried fruit store, you'll know what I'm talking about. The water tasted rather strange and ancient. It's probably an acquired taste.

I think this place is on par with Green Lemongrass, but the prices here are a lot cheaper. Even though I didn't like the food that much, it wasn't as bad as I had expected. My parents also commented that this visit was a lot better than their last. I think it'd be fine as long as you stick to typical menu items like pho and sandwiches.

Pho 99 Vietnamese Noodle House (Richmond) on Urbanspoon


  1. LOL, your description of the menu was hilarious.
    Last time I came here, the noodles were stuck together. ):< I think I might try the sub though, looks safe.

  2. @KayCe: Haha the toilet comment was the first thing going through my mind when I saw the menus... How else could they get so wrinkly?!

    My noodles were kind of stuck together too, but I think that happens all the time when I eat pho. They twirl a mound of pho on the bottom of the bowl and then pour soup over it. And usually the soup is not hot enough. The sub was pretty good though. The meat inside was really tender. And it was only $3.75!


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