My parents and I wanted to go to Cafe Gloucester for dinner and we didn’t have any other good ideas but when we got there around 7pm we noticed it was kinda empty. On the way there we walked by a Vietnamese restaurant next door actually so we decided to go there instead. Yay random food adventure! Pho Xe Lua 24 is located on Cambie and 18th. It might be easy to miss if you’re not looking for it but they do have a small sign on the sidewalk. Unlike other pho restaurants I’ve been to this one was decorated in a more modern and upscale way and we suspected the decor was left over from a previous restaurant.
I took some quick snapshots of the menu. They had the usual pho offerings along with banh mi.
This was my mom’s dish. She always gets noodles with soup so it was refreshing to see her try something new. I believe this was #46 which was grilled beef, and BBQ pork supreme paste with spring roll on vermicelli. It came with a side lettuce and pickled carrots and sweet dipping sauce which makes everything tasty! I have no idea what BBQ pork supreme paste is but it just seemed like the Vietnamese version of BBQ pork. The grilled beef was a bit sweet and had a texture that was similar to beef jerky but not quite. The spring rolls were good though!
My dad had the beef stew with rice #29 (rice not pictured). This was not particularly good or bad but I’ve had better beef stew. The beef could have been more flavourful but that’s what the sauce is for I guess. It came with a lot of rice so the portion was pretty good.
Finally we have my favourite dish to get: lemongrass chicken on fried rice. If you pay an extra 50 cents to a dollar for some dishes you can have fried rice instead of white rice. The fried rice had some egg and green onions in it and not much else. The rice was also on the mushy side so maybe regular rice would have been better. However, the lemongrass chicken was perfectly grilled and tender. It had some nice charring which added to the flavour. It also came with the usual side salad and dressing. I finished the whole thing (yes I’m a pig…)!
Overall I enjoyed my spontaneous visit here. The service was quick and efficient and the restaurant was also very clean too. Seating was comfortable and the prices are very reasonable too and on par with other pho places. Food wise it seems standard. Funny thing is that none of us ordered pho so I can’t comment on that.