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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Bites: What the Pho @ Northbridge

Slurping hot noodles and a good winter’s afternoon is pretty much what a mundane Monday needs.  The fix at one of the newer Vietnamese Restaurants in the city, has a catchy signboard with a matching name.  Pho or Vietnamese noodles are often pronounced “poh”  which my friend says is wrong.  Instead, the correct pronunciation is something like “fur”.  Putting petty issues aside, What the Pho has a really nice interior which sets itself apart from its counterparts who seems to have a more traditional “less is more”  sort of styling.   But it was the food that really mattered.  Does the younger restaurant have what it takes to beat its more experienced siblings?

For me, I called a dry noodles with fried chicken for $11 + $1 for extra noodles.
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The toppings were decent with bean sprouts, chives and spring onions.  But what matters the most for me is the sauce used.  For me, Vietnamese is all about having the elements well balanced.  This means having a salty base with proper amounts of sweetness and heat.  Unfortunately, the version of dry noodles at WTP was decent when it comes to salt but sweetness was non-existent.  I reckon the people at Phi Yen or Tra Vinh, make better sauce for their dry noodles.

However, what I did like was their fried chicken! It was chopped up, well-plated and serve with a small dish of sweet sauce.  And if you’ve guessed it, this gave the noodles good help!  Add it together with the chili sauce, and the whole noodles actually taste pretty yums!

As for my friends, they ordered the raw beef and beef ball hofan.  I tried their soup and found it pretty good.  But what matters most I guess it the opinion of my friend who happens to be a Vietnamese.  Quoting his exact words “It looks interesting from the outside, but tastes bland”! Honestly, I thought it was pretty tasty haha.  But then again, I typically mix my soup with the chili sauce and the other sweet brown sauce.  This creates a concoction where the original taste has disappeared! 

Finishing my meal, I felt satisfied.  I guess others felt relatively good as well.  I liked what I ordered despite it being slightly bland which did not really matter.  This was because  the various sauces on the table allows everyone to do a little bit of mix and match to suit.  Lunch at What the Pho was alright in pricing as well.  I guess this warrants a second visit although one might find it hard to deviate his meals from his usual restaurants especially when one does not offer anything more than the other.  In fact, the choices at What the Pho seems slightly lesser with the usual suspects such as Braised Beef Noodles, and  Diced Steak with Fried Rice all missing.  Hmmmm?

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