“There is no good Pho in Richmond.”
Being a Vancouver girl, and having tried EVERY pho place in Richmond, I can truly say that none of them can even measure up to the ones along Kingsway or Fraser. That is until I found this little gem. I’ve been following them since they moved from their old location on Granville, so for those having trouble finding the new store front, it is located along No. 3 Road right beside HSBC. Where IHOP is, across from Richmond Centre.
It’s not an exaggeration when I say that I can eat here more than two times a week, cause I’ve probably have. I’ve even brought some of my pho loving friends to here and they agreed that it was that good.
An Nam knows their customer base, and how to keep them coming back. It’s common pho-eating habits that when one orders a dish, they would order a drink as well. So it confuses me how a lot of shops don’t use that to their advantage, and turn it into combinations like ones that Pho 99 does. As for An Nam, for combo items under $12, you get a main dish, a drink, and a spring roll to boot!
Phở Đặc Biệt; An Nam Special Mixed Beef with Rice Noodle Soup
Bún Bò Huế Đặc Biệt; Spicy Beef & Pork with Thick Vermicelli Soup
Even though I’ve tried their Vietnamese Subs, and Fatboy always wanting to try their rice dishes, we always end up ordering the same things. For those that don’t like onions, don’t be alarmed. We ordered extra onions and green onions because we love drinking the soup with it. Despite the colour, it really isn’t that spicy to start. The house special comes in a small, but can exchange it for a large for a coup extra bucks. The original soup has a bit of coconutty taste to it, which is refreshing and different. Unlike most pho places, I usually feel very thirsty after drinking some of the soup due to overload on MSG. An Nam is the only place where I’ve found I can drink till the last drop, and not be dehydrated afterwards.
I usually get really full off the Bun Bo Hue because of the amount of meant and thick noodles, so I usually substitute my vermicelli noodles for the regular pho rice ones.
For those that are familiar with pho, who can leave out the additional condiments of lime, Asian basil and beansprout. I find that in Richmond, very few places would give you chili peppers. It is either chopped up or sliced green jalapenos, or they just tell you straight up they don’t have any. Being a regular now, the servers usually bring them to us without us asking.
Another reason that makes An Nam shine, is the fact that you can choose any drink off their menu (excluding alcohol of course) to go with your combination, at no extra cost. Their coffee is good, but this is what quenches your thirst from the spice and hot sauces that you load up in your pho. They also give you the can of the remaining soda, so there’s always enough to take home.
The things that we usually don’t have the stomach to finish off, and end up packing up. Even if we do have room for one bite, the spring roll still retains its crispiness despite it being left on the table for a while.
The sauce that brings everything together. Aside from the hoisin and hot sauce combo I use to dip the food in, I usually douse my soup in this. It’s the exact same thing used to make the original soup spicy. It must be the way they make it because the flavours and spice are potent without the oil. As you can tell by my pho up there, with it being so red from the oil, it does not taste or feel oily at all! I find very few chili oil can do that. I’ve also purchased a small container of that for $5, I have it at home and add a little bit to my stir-frys and noodles just to ‘spice’ things up.
I believe that An Nam is a family owned and run business, because that’s usually how pho restaurants work. Unless if it’s a chain. Everything is, or seems, made from scratch from the meatballs to Vietnamese sausages. It is usually very crowded, especially for lunch hour. I’ve only ever just noticed three servers each time, so service can be a bit slow but is overlooked due to their friendliness, not to mention food.
If anyone disagrees, please show me your ‘better’ pho in Richmond, if not this will still remain my number one and you’re just a liar.