Pho Century – Burnaby, BC

Pho Century Fine Vietnamese Cuisine
6701 Kingsway
Burnaby, BC
(604) 544-5028

Billed as a “Place for Noodle Lovers”, this second location of Pho Century recently popped up at the intersection of Kingsway and Sperling, basically directly across the way from the National Nikkei Heritage Centre where the beloved Hi Genki is located.  I’ve never visited their first outlet (which is also on Kingsway – at Willingdon), so have no point of reference to compare, but this just opened spot sure took me a bit by surprise.  While carved out inside a shabbier looking building that I think housed some kind of ESL/math school run by Chinese until recent times, they had really spruced up the tiny interior with a clean and fresh modern look.  Parking is brutal – limited to a few spots right in front – and street parking nearby is hampered by the ongoing construction of a tall condominium building right across the street, with all the trucks and machinery needing to get through.

As you can see from the signage, there is a grand opening going on, with special dine-in pricing of 10% off, which is slated to end January 15th.  So perhaps by the time you read this post, it could be over.  Nevertheless, the price point for their main dishes are reasonable – case in point, the small pho is $6, and the large bowl is $7.  Congees, and barbequed (insert any meat here) with rice dishes also fall in the $7~$8 range.  There were also some Viet Subs (chicken, meat ball, minced pork, Vietnamese ham) available priced $3.95 and up; apparently they are only here at this second location. Combo plates with rice or vermicelli run in the $7 to $11 zone; this “touch of everything” caught my attention for my lunch.

Things seemed to be running smoothly and the opening seems to have garnered its share of attention as when the two of us walked in, several spots were occupied – a mix of young Asian youths and some blue collar construction workers (perhaps from across the street?).  Seating was done promptly, as was the delivery of the menus and some hot tea.  While there was a bit of a language barrier in ordering – had inquired if they had the wonderful crispy green onion cake that I’ve had lately at other Vietnamese restaurants – but what came out was a cup of fried green onions (she must have interpreted our conversation as me wanting some extra garnish or topping for the soup noodles, oh well!).

Combo E – comprised of one salad roll, one spring roll and two chicken skewers.  Price was $9.95.  Laid on top of vermicelli – she didn’t ask if I wanted rice which in hindsight I should have.  Each item tasted like I assume it should and have had in other places.  The salad roll was filled with more vermicelli though so it seemed like it lacked some substance to it – even the shrimp inside was sliced thinly and I didn’t really feel the texture of the meat as I bit through.  The chicken had a nice smoky char on them – there is a combo that features four of them – which is nice for those days when you feel like having one item and enough of them to really fill you up.

What you see pictured above is #14, listed under the “Chef’s Menu” part of the choices.  A “Special Seafood in Noodle Soup” ($7.45).  I only sampled a bit of this but the broth wasn’t insanely hot which was good for eating without burning the inside of your mouth and it was a delicate, clean flavor.  No MSG residue whatsoever.  Squid, prawns and mini scallops were the main toppings here, with the noodles cooked well through.

My initial visit here in the early days suggests to me that its off to a good start.  I would certainly come back if I’m in the area.  Which is kind of isolated when it comes to Vietnamese food.  Of note, the “Veggie Vermicelli Soup” comprised of tofu, bean sprouts, tomato, mushrooms in a veggie broth for some reason has me really curious.  Perhaps because its as they say, “exclusive at Pho Century only”, and its dubbed “Special”.

Pho Century Fine Vietnamese Cuisine on Urbanspoon

18 thoughts on “Pho Century – Burnaby, BC

  1. Coincidence? Not sure!!! (Hint: my post about this place went up today!!!)

    Since I have been in the first location, I can only say they were consistent with the dish I ordered, which was bun bo hue. It depends on how you like the first one, of course, in my case, it was OK, borderline below average.

    • Have you established a rule for yourself yet for good/bad experiences? Generally if its poor on day 1, I usually give it three strikes before calling it a total loss, just to be as fair as I can.

      • My general theory is if I have a lousy meal, come back and get a better one, that there are consistency issues. I only employ the one strike yur out rule if it’s a very bad meal, i.e Pho Century.

        Not knowing what I’m gonna get from meal to meal makes me skittish!

    • Karl,

      I’m guessing you work in Burnaby somewhere, perhaps north of Kingsway & Metrotown ? I see a lot of your lunch posts and comments all concentrated on central/south Bby areas. Tell me if I’m wrong.

      I work at Metrotown. And we both know a certain BY who works quite close to me too.

      As far as I’m concerned, there are no “killer” phos in S. Bby like there are in Vancouver. Pho Hoa and Pho Hong are alright. Pho Tan …. fail ! The Green Bamboo at Crystal Mall is actually quite alright, but I suspect the owner is Taiwanese because some of their noodles verge on being Taiwanese beef noodles ! And they have dumplings too 🙂

      • LR, you’re pretty much bang on. I’m a surveyor by day and we roam all around Burnaby. Good guess, BTW. Did BY fill you in?

        I have a few favorites up on Hastings but the better ones, IMO, are along Kingsway.

        Green Bamboo has been, for me, far and away the most consistent and plentiful of Viet restaurants. In this case, the owners being Chinese, is a big plus. Their dumplings and TBN are very good. Gotta try more of his Chinese fare. Excellent extra-large spring rolls, as well.

        Has anyone tried Pho 24 Express over by Kura? 15% off until, I think, next week.

  2. Pingback: Pho Century (Kingsway and Sperling) | I'm Only Here for the Food!

  3. Hi All, Not sure where to report this but the restaurant do not pay employee any tips. Any tip came from restaurant goer the employer keep.

    Go and ask any waiter there yourself if they actually receive tips that you give them.

    My cousin worked there any has to quit, but may vietnameses without job will stick to it.

    • Wow. That’s just brutal and borderline, if not totally, illegal. If any employee were going to steal from their restaurant, this one would be a great place to start. Jeez.

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