- Address: 9555 Yonge St, Richmond Hill
- Visited: 12/16/2017, Lunch, 2 people
- Cuisine: Vietnamese
- Rating: 4.5 5.0 Excellent, worth every $
4.5 Good, food & value
4.0 Good, but $$, would re-visit
3.5 Meh, good $, would re-visit
3.0 Meh, would not re-visit
2.0 Did not like $ [$] <20; [$$] <40; [$$$] <80; [$$$$] >80
- Website: http://www.photaibac.com/
Stephen and I bought a house this summer in Richmond Hill and immediately gutted the first floor to build our dream kitchen. This means we’ve been spending a lot of weekends in the neighbourhood checking on renos, building kitchen cabinets and doing yard work. Pho Tai Bac quickly became our go to for a quick, satisfying lunch that was just minutes away.
Atmosphere: Pho Tai Bac was located in a strip mall north of Yonge and 16th with a blue sign and large photos of dishes decorating the front windows. The dining room was filled with red topped square tables that could be easily rearranged to accommodate any party size, although groups of more than 4 will likely need to wait during peak hours. The restaurant was clean and well lit.
Service: Every time we’ve visited, the restaurant’s pretty much been full or close to full. We’ve never had to wait long as tables turned over quickly, but I was surprised at how many tables were full even at 2pm on weekends. Service has always been efficient and professional while friendly and relaxed.
Food: There are so many items on the menu that I’ve been wanting to try, the Bun Bo Hue especially, but I can never resist the classic bowl of pho with all the toppings. Stephen’s tried one of their Bun bowls and can vouch for them being delicious as well. My default order of #42 came with all the toppings, rare beef, tripe, tendon and beef balls. The broth was rich and flavourful without being salty and the noodles were perfect.
I really liked how the amount of toppings scaled with different bowl sizes, not just more noodles and broth. For me, a medium bowl is the perfect size, but a small would be suitable for those with a smaller appetite or if you’re ordering sides. We’ve also large bowls a few times and I’ve never struggled to finish, but those were extra hungry days. The side of bean sprouts, limes and Thai basil were also generous, plentiful and good quality.
Stephen and I have already become regulars at Pho Tai Bac and have brought family and friends along. I’m happy to have such a neighbourhood gem so close to our new house.