Pho on 7 Review

At the same plaza of Hot Yoga Markham, a Vietnamese restaurant called Pho on 7 has opened for a few months now.  The name especially in Chinese is super cute  (7  仔), so I’ve been wanting to try it for a while.

It was perfect then when they had a Groupon – $20 for $10.  I went for dinner around 9 last Thursday, and there were a few tables filled around the surprisingly spacious restaurant, though in terms of decor it looked pretty much like any other pho restaurant.

Upon seating, we were provided a Groupon-specific order sheet and away we go.  Their regular menu had the usual Viet/Thai styled food, and extra menus for beer combos and afternoon tea sets (condensed milk toast and luncheon egg instant noodle caught my eye) which I thought was innovative and interesting (perhaps modeled after Korean and Chinese 茶餐廳 restaurants?).

Items on the menu looked expensive, as salads start from $7 and soups $8 and up.  Based on other people’s reviews commenting the servings are small, we each ordered a large pho, rare beef for myself and tripe for my friend ($7.27 each), and to share spring rolls ($3.97) and grilled meatballs ($4.47).

Our pho came first, and my large was honestly huge.  The amount of noodles they provided was unbelievable and I got a decent amount of meat.  Unfortunately, the soup was very very bland to the point I could taste the grains of the actual noodle itself.  Typically, I don’t use the sauces/seasoning that they provide on the side as I like to taste the soup, so this dish was a disappointment and a sign of things to come.

Our spring rolls came next.  Perhaps we were one of the last tables of the night, so they heated up spring rolls that were fried earlier.  They were chewy and not crisp as you would expect from a spring roll.  The insides were yummy though.

The grilled meatballs were your typical yummy oily marinated meatballs on a skewer.  I ended up eating them with my pho to give some added flavour.

I suppose in an effort to get us out of there, they gave us our bill but the total was $25?  We informed them we had a Groupon (which they should already know as we told them in the beginning).  The bill was redone and now read $28!  Where did the extra come from?  It turned out they put a 12% service charge!  I normally tip around 10% at an Asian restaurant, but for a pho restaurant… I think 12% is overkill.  The server then waits for me to pay, making me feel pressured to give them the full 12%.

As we left, we agreed that we probably wouldn’t come here again.  The pho (a signature dish) was mediocre and the 12% service charge left a bitter after taste.

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