Dishing up authentic Vietnamese food (and by 'authentic' we mean not heavily Sri Lankanized by an excessive use of chillie and spices), Pho is a consistent favourite among the YAMU staff. It's not just the authenticity that has us going there, it's also how affordable it is for a hearty meal.
Their menu consists of two laminated pages, one with larger dishes (hotpots) and the other listing soups, appetizers, rice, and drinks. The portion sizes are also quite filling despite it being for one person. In all fairness though, the rice options are pricier than their pho options.
We started off with some Beef Wrapped in Betel Leaves. The beef wasn't really wrapped in betel leaves though, and it's more of a tangily flavoured beef roll with a bit of betel leaf stuck on top. However, despite this misleading little bit of information, we loved it. The beef was actually very good, minced and tightly packed together, coming with a clear fish sauce which had a nice balance of lime and salt to be dipped in. At Rs. 350, we thought this was worth it.
Next up came the mains. They have the beef and chicken variety of their namesake signature dish, so we got a beef and chicken pho (Rs. 450 each for a very filling 'small' portion) and the Shaking Beef with Rice and Vegetable (Rs. 700).
The pho (AKA Noodle Soup) is incredibly mild with its flavour, so don't expect anything even close to a Tom Yum; this is like lightly spiced stock that comes with flat noodles and generous amounts of thinly sliced meat so that the dish is light yet filling at the same time. Yes, strange.
I prefer the beef one, because the chicken pho frankly tastes a bit too much like chicken stock whereas the beef one has a nice lemongrass, lime, leeks, and gentle spice game going on.
We loved the rice and beef meal we got but were once again severely disappointed by the misnomer. Being the noobs we are, we half expected it to be a wobbly dish of sizzling meat. In reality, the 'shaking' happened over a pan during its preparation way before it landed on our plates.
That confusion aside, the plate was well laden with a bowlful of soft rice, plentiful cubes of well seasoned, perfectly made beef, and some lettuce and cucumber. It was also decorated with butterfly shaped carrots, which we found fascinating.
For drinks we shared an Iced Lemon Tea (Rs. 350) which comes in a tall glass and has a very distinct kahata game going on, along with the acidic kick from all the lemon and actual tea in it. We're also glad this tea isn't made out of syrup.
Pho hasn't changed since it first began over a year ago. The interior is still the same, as is the exterior. While the building is 3 stories high, only the ground floor is used for the restaurant, which is furnished with washed out green and teak dining furniture. Food gets to your table quite fast, but there's sometimes a language barrier when there's the Vietnamese waitstaff around - in any case, this only makes conversation slightly difficult if you want recommendations and such, but works otherwise if you're just placing your order and paying up. They're friendly and sometimes harried, but quite nice overall.
We quite like Pho Vietnam, especially for the beef noodle soup. We might even do a YAMU Loves on it, but then again I'm biased. People from office order in from there regularly and drop in whenever they could as well, mostly because it's at a central location and you get value for money. Just keep in mind that the spices and flavours are super mild, so you won't be disappointed when that kochchi-craving Sri Lankan palate isn't satisfied.
Pho Vietnam is one of our favourite places to grab some quick, delicious, and affordable food.
Pho serves up simple and healthy Vietnamese food. It's not as flavorful as we'd like, but they're very new and we think they'll improve.
සිංහල වියට්නාම් කෑම ලෝකය පුරා ප්රසිද්ධ වෙලා තියෙන්නෙ අඩුවෙන් තෙල් පාවිචිකරලා හදන ලෝකයේ තියෙන සෞඛ්යසම්පන්න ම කෑම වර්ග හැටියට.
Pho now has a new outlet at Havelock Road. It's spacious, and the…
Good place to go with family. But not a great place to booze