Address: 1603 Dundas West, Toronto (map)
Date & time of visit: May 24, 2013 + 8:00pm
Broth: 5.5 | Beef: 5 | Noodle: 8 | Condiment: 5.5 | Service/atmosphere: 4.5 | Overall: 5.7
Broth: 6 | Beef: 6 | Noodle: 7 | Condiment: 6 | Service/atmosphere: 5 | Overall: 6.2
Overall Rating: 5.95
Write-up from Jason:
It’s no secret that my attention has been far from pho for the past long while. Moving, starting a new job, and just generally starting have occupied most of my thought and effort. But that’s no exculpation for ignoring this website’s raison d’etre.
Two Fridays ago I got a last minute call from Sean and Anne – they were going out for pho and why not make it a phodown? After dropping off some empties at the Beer Store I was a bit late, but not egregiously so. They had already ordered drinks – an entirely disappointing coconut shake for Anne and a Heineken for Sean (he later tried to trade this in for a Tiger, but it was too late).
Sean made his second error of the night, ordering “yellow curry” from the specials menu, while Anne and I stuck to the phodown mandate. The curry came out as essentially a soup with terrible dry chicken within. I felt bad for him, but not completely so because after all, Sean has made a spectacle of ignoring standard phodown rules all year. After barely touching his curry, Sean ordered a pho, which raised nary an eyebrow among the staff.
The pho here is really not terrible, but it could never be confused with good pho in any way. The broth was the primary failing, watery and bland. The beef was fine – it tasted fresh – but not at all abundant. The condiments followed suit – we got lime, bean sprouts and basil, but no peppers or sawtooth. The upshot: not a lot of care went into anything here.
Especially not the service. When receiving the bill we noticed the curry was still on it. I mentioned, as politely as such a situation allows, that it was really inedible. The waiter took my comment but did nothing to rectify it. I don’t expect a comp, or even a free dessert at most pho places, but this one was rather upscale and so some sort of offering would have been appreciated and certainly warranted.
Overall, I’d say there is really no reason to go to Pho Phuong. There are other joints in the area. The pho is mediocre to bad. The service is terrible. And as Sean demonstrated, the Thai is miserable.