Saigon Venture

April 2nd, 2008 · 6 Comments

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Target 2.3: Saigon Venture

saigon.venture.vancouver.bc.downtownAddress: 1310 Burrard Street (map)
Phone: (604) 605-8908
Menu: Page 1; Page 2; Page 3
Price: $4.25-$5.95 small; $5.25-$6.95 large
Condiments Photo

Visit date: March 13th, 2008
Visit time: 1 PM


Jason’s ratings (#3 rare beef) –

Broth: 6.5/10
Beef: 7.5/10
Noodle: 8.5/10
Condiments: 6.5/10
Other factors (service, atmosphere, etc): 7.5/10

Jason’s total: 7.3/10

Des’ ratings (#1 house special combination) –

Broth: 6.5/10
Beef: 7/10
Noodle: 7/10
Condiments: 7/10
Other factors: 7.5/10

Des’ total: 7/10

Total Score (averaged across both raters, all variables) = 7.15/10
Quality per dollar (based on large pho between #1 and #3) = 1.0476/$

Description from Jason:

First of all, I just want to say that I love this place’s name. Saigon Venture. It sounds like a tax shelter for some dude selling opium and jars of scorpion wine out of the back of his pickup truck. And a look at the menu confirms this joints business focused attitude, being the very first one to price its pho based on the combination of meat it comes with. This pricing scheme seemed alien to me at first, but I have to admit, it’s nice to know I’m not paying for meat I didn’t get.

saigon.venture.vancouver.bc.downtownBesides the advancements in pho pricing theory and its convenient (for me!) downtown location, this place really doesn’t have much to offer. Everything is pretty much average here, which seems to be par for the course in relation to other non-Eastvan pho joints. A few notes from the underbelly:

Broth – Huge aroma here, full of anise and almost flowery. Unfortunately one of the weakest broths I’ve tried so far; I’d try cooking it down for a few more hours. Virtually no fat content

Beef – Fine, fresh, but a bit sparse for the price

Noodles – The highpoint here. Al dente and not clumpy

Condiments – No hot pepper, what a drag. The rest is standard with basil past its prime

Service/Atmosphere – Clean, and the waiter/owner was really friendly but not in a fake way. We really liked this guy. Could use a cool fishtank and the disposable chopsticks were annoying. I’m glad this is not the norm in Vancouver.

Tags: Pho

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Knightafter // Apr 3, 2008 at 7:26 am

    Downtown is a little light on pho , plus the few places seem to close quite early and sometimes you need a bowl at 3 am after a night out . I guess that’s what Kingsway is for .
    Also I can’t stand disposable wooden chopsticks .
    But nice to know there is a pho possibility on Burrard .

  • 2 Jason // Apr 3, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    indeed, but kingsway is so far, especially at 3am!

  • 3 Maranda // Apr 6, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    Hi! I think you guys should try Hanoi Pho on Hastings near Main. The area really doesn’t do justice for the restaurant. It’s fairly close to downtown, and the food is great. They really go for quality and presentation there…just to my opinion. Just a suggestion 🙂

  • 4 Jason // Apr 10, 2008 at 12:55 am

    i’m kinda scared. but i will give it a shot.

  • 5 Jack // Jul 24, 2008 at 11:55 am

    I go to the place every weekend. Overall the place is not as good as it used to be when a fellow named Tommy owned it. When he sold the place two years ago it went down hill as the place has seen two owners in the past two years who lack Tommy’s charm and culinary skills.

    Nonetheless the current owners are very friendly so I’ve decided to put aside my earlier bias about the lack of and quality of condiments in favor of a good bowl of pho in the downtown core…..

  • 6 Jesse // Jan 14, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    Hi. To all of you long-time regular’s and frequenters’ of Saigon Venture, as well as those just interested in a great place for Pho and other of types yummy Vietnamese, Tommy is back starting this Monday, January 18th, 2010. For those of you who know Tommy, this is very exciting news, and enough said. And for those of you who don’t, visit the restaurant and experience amazing southern vietnamese food!

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