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4/5

Pho Vietnam

47 Thimbirigasyaya Rd, Colombo 5


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.



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.

Food and Drink

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.

Ambience and Service

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.

Conclusion

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.


TIP

There is parking for about three vehicles inside.

Address

47 Thimbirigasyaya Rd, Colombo 5

Directions

Pho is on Thimbiri between Havelock Road and Jawatta. It's actually in from the road a bit, right next to Calorie Counter.

Contacts

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Open 10 to 11 PM, Closed On Mondays

Price Range

Between Rs. 500 - Rs. 1000

Dish Types

Noodles

Cuisine

Vietnamese

Ratings Breakdown

Quality Rating
3
Service Rating
4
Ambience Rating
4
Similar Places

User Reviews
B
2

1/5

0

bam_boo_sten

If there was a spice called ‘zero taste’ this place has an exclusive on it. Every dish we tried was bland and boring…and limp. The dishes are apparently having an identity crises as they felt like a poor mix of the most simple Asian dishes from the region. Is it Thai? Indonesian? Malay?! Oh yeah there’s no taste to it so it’s impossible to tell. Classifying this as Vietnamese though is a gross stretch of the imagination, or it could qualify as false advertising. If you really enjoy Vietnamese food, don’t disappoint yourself with a visit here.

D
3

5/5

0

Duminda

Absolutely love this place.

G
9

4/5

1

GayanP

It's just like eating street food in Vietnam. Even the tattered menus look just the same. The choice is limited and communicating with the Vietnamese staff is a challenge. The food arrives very fast and as and when each dish is ready.

They don't serve alcohol but you can bring in your own bottles corkage free. However as communication is an issue, once the order is placed they bring it on straight away even though you have asked for a 20 minute delay to sip the drinks.

I suppose the only place in Colombo for Vietnamese coffee. The coffee is not as strong as in Vietnam but its still Robusta coffee and the flavour is distinct.

This restaurant is quite inconspicuous and we discovered it only when we came in search of the so called Moroccan restaurant Tajine which is located above this restaurant. Tajine was abandoned; no diners and no waiters. The owner had locked himself up with a cat in the front room. He was more keen about us shutting the door than welcoming us. So we came downstairs and discovered this place.

See the photos for their offerings and prices

B
2

1/5

0

bam_boo_sten

If there was a spice called ‘zero taste’ this place has an exclusive on it. Every dish we tried was bland and boring…and limp. The dishes are apparently having an identity crises as they felt like a poor mix of the most simple Asian dishes from the region. Is it Thai? Indonesian? Malay?! Oh yeah there’s no taste to it so it’s impossible to tell. Classifying this as Vietnamese though is a gross stretch of the imagination, or it could qualify as false advertising. If you really enjoy Vietnamese food, don’t disappoint yourself with a visit here.

D
3

5/5

0

Duminda

Absolutely love this place.

G
9

4/5

1

GayanP

It's just like eating street food in Vietnam. Even the tattered menus look just the same. The choice is limited and communicating with the Vietnamese staff is a challenge. The food arrives very fast and as and when each dish is ready.

They don't serve alcohol but you can bring in your own bottles corkage free. However as communication is an issue, once the order is placed they bring it on straight away even though you have asked for a 20 minute delay to sip the drinks.

I suppose the only place in Colombo for Vietnamese coffee. The coffee is not as strong as in Vietnam but its still Robusta coffee and the flavour is distinct.

This restaurant is quite inconspicuous and we discovered it only when we came in search of the so called Moroccan restaurant Tajine which is located above this restaurant. Tajine was abandoned; no diners and no waiters. The owner had locked himself up with a cat in the front room. He was more keen about us shutting the door than welcoming us. So we came downstairs and discovered this place.

See the photos for their offerings and prices

Avatar for Malinthe
21

4/5

Malinthe YAMU STAFF

Rated 4/5

See 27 Comments