270 Victoria Street, Richmond (map)
Ten days ago I caught up with my ladies K and J for some midweek phố, and instead of going to one of our regular haunts Thanh Nga Nine or Co Do, I suggested we give Pho Chu The a try. I hadn't been there for a few years, but I remembered it being pretty good. J looked up the address online and joked to us that it was the half empty restaurant that she takes guys to when she doesn't want to be seen with them, like the Chinese restaurant in an old episode of Sex and the City.
Whether or not Pho Chu The was the venue where J was clandesdining, it certainly wasn't half empty: on a Wednesday night there was a queue of about ten people out the door. The decor is strictly no frills and the service is brusque and swift, with food coming out within about two minutes of ordering. My kind of fast food!
Mystifyingly, the restaurant was overrun by the skinny jeans brigade... I guess they're all here because the phố is so damn good.
$8.50 a bowl, and the restaurant serves nothing but beef, chicken and vegetable phố and spring rolls. One bowl of the phở bò with rare beef was enough for me to declare Pho Chu The my new favourite phở joint on Victoria Street. The magic is in the broth.