Monday, August 12

Phat Phooodtrip: For The Love Of Pho

If you've read the first few posts in this blog, you'll notice that I have this obsession for Vietnamese food, from Pho to their fresh spring rolls, even making my own Pho Ga from scratch. I love how all the herbs and spices combine into a flavorful dish that would certainly knock your socks off.

I have been withholding myself from making reviews on restaurants that I've been to, not because they're not worth the effort (believe me, it takes a huge amount of brainpower to put these things into writing), it's just that I'm too lazy!! However, after last night's culinary experience, I felt the need to make a write up just because it was too good too pass up. Even after 16 hours, my taste  buds are still craving for MORE!

Vietnamese cuisine has it's own distinct flavor. It uses various types of condiments, herbs and spices but still give out a delicate flavor. Most of their ingredients are fresh and If you are one of those health buffs who counts calories, Vietnamese food is a great alternative to your usual salad bar.

I haven't heard of any authentic Vietnamese restos in the city up until a few weeks ago. The Abaca group opened up a restaurant at The Crossroads called PHAT PHO and I have been itching to try the place out since it opened but I didn't have the time to do so. So I was ecstatic to try it out last night with some friends and family.

Phat Pho is a small nook where half of the space is used up by the kitchen and the other half is occupied by bar stools and high tables. The restaurant was like a modern day cafeteria with an industrial vibe that speaks CASUAL in bold letters. It's amazing how they maximized a small space and turned it into a restaurant with modest interiors.

I was impressed with the service. It was speedy, the people were friendly and accommodating. Our orders were already on the table in under five minutes. SUPERB! I thought I had to wait too long.

We decided to have Rice Paper Rolls or fresh spring rolls (pork and shrimp), Pho Xao, Spicy Seafood Pho (which was their specialty of the day), Tender Pork Ribs, Chicken Satay, and I ordered a baguette on the side because a Pho is always best paired with a baguette.

(L-R) Top: pork fresh spring rolls, tender pork ribs, Pho Xao
Bottom: Shrimp fresh spring rolls, Chicken Satay, Spicy Seafood Pho

Pho Xaw is the Vietnamese version of the Phad Thai, but personally,  I like this better. Maybe it's because this dish is a little more delicate and the sauce is just perfect. The spring onions is a plus because I'm such a fan of spring onion. If you love Phad Thai, then you should definitely try this!

Unpretentious, clean, healthy rice paper rolls. Vietnamese fresh spring rolls usually have lettuce, cucumbers, spring onions. cilantro, carrots, pork and shrimp carefully wrapped in rice paper. This dish is refreshing and delicious! If you're on a diet, you can skip the peanut sauce. If you want too check out my version of the fresh spring rolls: Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls

I didn't have time to take a photo of the Spicy Seafood Pho because we were already starving, but I have to say it was THE BOMB DOT COM! Their Pho bowls are good for 3-4 people but after i had a taste of the broth, I would have definitely made it for one because it was THAT good! The cilantro leaves and Chinese basil definitely made a huge impact on the dish. The soup isn't really that spicy, you have to add the condiments in your own soup bowl and add Sriracha according to the level of hotness you prefer. However, I was a little disappointed with the baguette because I wanted it smothered in garlic butter but it was just plain and boring.

The tender pork ribs lived up to its name. It was indeed tender and sauce was perfect for the dish, not too sweet and not too spicy or salty. The Chicken satay was very simple (in a good way), far from the usual barbecue lathered with ketchup or soy sauce. It was flavorful even though it looked quite simple.

It was a great culinary experience, the best PHOODTRIP I've had in weeks and I would definitely come back with some friends again.