Daily: 13:00 - 02:00
Long Phung is located at Joo Chiat Road and serves Vietnamese Food. The restaurant's specialty is the Pho - a piping hot bowl of rice noodles with beef slices, garnised herbs and drowned in a rich clear broth.
There are two Vietnamese restaurants along the same row of shophouses. One was strangely deserted while the other had a long queue. My heart sank as I realized that we were headed for the crowded one. It’s a good thing we’d eaten some snacks so we weren’t starving during the wait.
The eatery is decked out in tacky plastic chairs and tables with photos of dishes covering the walls. No ambience to speak of but it serves authentic Vietnamese food at affordable prices.
When it’s our turn to be seated, a waitress asked if we’d be willing to share our table with a lone diner, whom I noticed had been standing by the side. We agreed but would later regret our decision.
Instead of a big round table we were given a small rectangular one meant for two people. The problem began as soon as he started slurping his noodle. The force was so mighty it sent soup flying in all directions and to our horror, the liquid missiles landed right in front of us! Fortunately our food hadn’t arrived yet. When the prawn rolls came I had to place it in the farthest corner hoping it’d escape contamination. However, there’s nothing I could do about the noodles as the impossibly puny table had run out of space.
Totally grossed out, we didn’t start eating straight away. Moreover, sitting side by side, both of us couldn’t even move our arms freely, let alone eat!
He didn’t take long to finish but it’s still agonizing to sit and stare at our food, wondering if anything had gotten into it in the meantime. We were extremely relieved when he finally left and K promptly shifted opposite so we could tuck in.
The gỏi cuốn (prawn roll 4pcs $6) had fresh ingredients of prawn, pork, vermicelli, lettuce, mint leaves wrapped in rice paper (bánh tráng) which was slightly chewy. Clean-tasting on its own but the hoisin peanut sauce lent it a much more exciting flavor.
As for the noodles, they were served piping hot with a variety of herbs (basil, cilantro, mint) and beansprouts already inside the bowls. The broths were a tad sweet so it’s necessary to add some calamansi juice for a more balanced and uplifting taste, while the narrow strips of rice noodles were silky smooth.
K ordered phở nạm (well-done beef brisket noodle soup $5.50) which came with hoisin sauce. There’s a generous amount of meat and it’s sufficiently tender.
I had phở gà (chicken noodle soup $5.50) and it’s topped with bits of deep-fried garlic. A dipping sauce made of fish sauce and chopped red chili was provided.
Halfway through our meal K wanted dừa trái (thái lan) (thai coconut $3.50) and it had very refreshing juice with really soft flesh.
The food was unpretentious and delectable so we won’t mind returning. However, we’re certainly never gonna ever share a table with anyone.Note: The eatery closes at 12am from September 2012. Cash only.
There's a good reason why, for lunch or dinner, there's always a line at this place. The food is very good, and close to what one would find in cheap eateries in southern Việt Nam. Even the service and atmosphere are like that in places outside Saigon - efficient but charmless, communistic even.
See other reviews at http://thehungrybunnie.blogspot.com
Brusque service aside, Long Phung serves up the best pho in Singapore, and short of flying to Hanoi every other week to get my pho-fix, the little spot will have to do as a viable alternative.
Service at the cash-only establishment was typically Vietnamese; you accommodate them rather than the other way round. Despite my repeated instructions to hold off all parsley/coriander leaves/spring onions/cilantro on everything, only 1 dish was parsley/coriander leaf/spring onion/cilantro-free; my chicken pho arrived laced with spring onions. When informed to the waitress, she tersely informed that there was no instruction to hold off the said herbs in "all of the dishes", and because she, like many Vietnamese women, was scary and fierce, I picked out every last speck of spring onion on my own instead of sending it back for a redo.
Oh well, as I see it, Long Phung provides a most authentic experience of Vietnam. And it's not like they charge for service anyway, so there's that.
1) Cha Gio ($7) with 3 parts minced vegetables, 1 part minced pork, exactly the way it's done in Vietnam: Juicy and flavourful, this had a beautifully crisp rice paper skin.
2) Ga Vien Chien ($10): succulent morsels of Vietnamese-styled popcorn chicken
3) Bun Bo Hue ($7.50): a Hue-specialty of beef brisket hunks, pork leg sausage slices, in a heady deceptively fiery broth that balances the spicy with the salty and sweet, enlivened by a hint of lemongrass
4) Pho Ga ($7): pure wholesome goodness, with generous lashings of shredded chicken, and a deliciously delicate chicken stock. So good even if marred by spring onions.
5) Bun Thit Nuong ($7.50): dry-styled noodles topped with the most lusciously grilled pork ever, redolent of lemongrass, and served with a fish sauce-based dip.
6) Com Trang Bo Kho ($7): sumptuous French-influenced beef stew, with fork-tender brisket swimming in a mildly spicy gravy