Daily: 11:00 - 22:00
Pho Hoa restaurants specialize in naturally flavored, healthy and delicious soups. Each bowl of their soup is carefully prepared and accompanied with fresh coriander leaves, bean sprouts, hot chili peppers, lemon wedges and basil leaves.
I was in Suntec yesterday and intended to have lunch at Pho House. However, when I realised that there was a Pho Hoa branch there I automatically walked into the stall.
I pondered why I did that, and then I remembered a good friend telling me that one way to get people addicted to your food is to put some MSG in there - and for some strange reason people will keep coming back.
So maybe that's the reason why my subconscious mind brought me back to this place and I subconsciously ordered the largest item I can find -which is the T3 Beef Pho with lots of spare parts.
I started with the fried spring rolls which was really good. It was crispy and very tasty.
The Beef Pho is somewhat a staple for me at Pho Hoa. The beef is tender and I enjoyed the tripe too. The soup is a little salty but that can be negated with a glass of soft drink. Too heavy for lunch though and my eyes got really heavy quickly.
Yes, call me a sucker but I will still come back for my MSG laden pho. I must warn you that in the larger lunch crowds service can be a little inefficient.
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I rarely eat Vietnamese food throughout my 20+ years of life. Upon a recommendation from a friend, I managed to discover a bit more by visiting Phở Hōa in Suntec City Mall.
Assorted Rolls - Fresh summer rolls, fried spring rolls and fried netted scallop rolls. As I tried all of them, I enjoyed the summer rolls more than the scallop ones, which in turn were more delectable than the other fried variety. The former had shrimps, chicken, rice vermicelli and vegetables, each bound with an enjoyably chewy rice wrap. The sweet and sour dipping sauce matched the summer rolls best. The chewy scallops had light and crispy nets around them, while the fried spring rolls were filled with minced chicken and vegetables.
Deep-Fried Mini Potato Pancakes - They weren't greasy. Served piping hot, they were crispy on the outside, but moist on the inside. The orange-coloured dipping sauce had a nice sweet and sour balance, and it was adequately thick.
The Adventurer's Choice Phở (Large) - The one served wasn't as adventurous as one might think since it didn't include any internal organs at all, but rather a medley of beef steak, brisket, flank, tendon, tripe and meatballs. The soup was mildly sweet and no doubt hearty, although it wasn't as robust as I thought it'd be. Served on the side were beansprouts, basil leaves, lime and chili.
Grilled Chicken and Egg Cake Rice Plate - The grilled chicken which was brushed with nice sweet sauce was pretty tender, but not particularly succulent. It went well with the chili oil which wasn't hair-pulling spicy. The steamed egg cake which was primarily made of ground pork (and eggs, of course) was moist.
Coconut Flan with Caramel - The flan was smooth, but it lacked the coconut taste the name promised. Furthermore, the caramel lacked the heady aroma it was supposed to have, even though it wasn't cloyingly sweet.
Three Coloured Drink - If you count white as a colour, it'd be a drink with four colours: white coconut milk, green jelly strips, red beans and yellow mung beans having their skins removed. The drink wasn't excessively sweet, but neither was the coconut milk rich enough to make me crave for more.
Vietnamese Drip Coffee with Milk and Ice - The dark roasted coffee almost reached the full-bodied quality with its strong aroma and level of bitterness. Added with a bit of not-so-sweet condensed milk, it became creamy enough without having its aroma zapped out.
Service was a tad slow. However, the server was really friendly and never failed to smile when he came to the table.
Restaurants at suntec city tend to be crowded and you have to bear with long queues. Pho Hoa restaurant is at an unusual location at the third floor, and is usually not packed. The food is quite good, though the standards have dropped since the days I went to the Holland Village branch years ago. Been to the STC branch for around 5 times, usually for a quick and comfortable meal.