Indie too much: Pho Hoa

(I haven’t brought my camera then, so forgive moi.)

So after indie movies and a bit of shoe shopping, my friend and I decided to try something indie Asian. No Japanese, no Chinese. No Filipino, too. Something we don’t usually do. Or eat. I ogled at restaurants nearby as she tries on flats. There I saw a somewhat eternally present restaurant at this old mall we used to go to. Pho Hoa. Oh. Vietnamese.


I actually have read lots of good reviews about Pho Hoa, mostly from health buffs. I dragged my friend to the Vietnamese place and there ate. Expected much? Yes.

Menu. Not much choices. Or is it the cuisine that is limited? Anyway, I didn’t have much choice but to order noodles, veering away from rice (weird though, I know it’s rice noodles that they are using.) For my friend, a dry version of noodles. The dishes looked like filled with toppings so we didn’t order something on the side. But there was the disappointing part. There were no house tea. I can’t imagine noodles without house tea! Well, they offered Jasmine tea, not my type though. Doesn’t Vietnamese fare go with tea? Somebody advise me on this.

Food service. Our food came in fast, the noodles coming in first.

Flavor. I am actually thrilled that they separated the togue-looking sprouts, an herb I forgot what it’s called, a tiny lemon wedge and chili. It gives me a sense of freedom with my food. I tried the broth first, then put them all in. A lot of my friends knows that I’m an herb person. I like herbs, and if I can put them in all dishes I would. But I guess, Vietnamese herbs are an exemption. They make the broth taste like grass and medicine in a capsule. It’s my fault really to even try that. However, the dish became a-ok when I removed the “grass” out of it. The noodles tasted so-so actually. Beef and rice noodles seemed overcooked. The togue-like sprouts tasted like singkamas and that gave the dish some crunch.

The vermicelli bowl my friend got is what I really wanted. It looked like Asian salad with noodles. It has greens, grilled chicken, bacon bits, minced nuts, and of course rice noodles. It comes with a sweetish sour dressing that blends well with the flavors that is already playing with your taste buds. I’m glad my friend let me finish the dish.

Price. I seldom mention prices of food I order, maybe many has been noticing that, unless it is really really really a cheap very-good-tasting fare. But the prices here, in my very selfish opinion, are over the roof. I can’t imagine noodles, small bowl, which costs P200. The vermicelli bowl went P250 for a small bowl too. Add to that they don’t have house tea. Good thing only they don’t have service charge. I wished I consider my friend’s suggestion to try Bodhi.

I can’t really have a very concrete opinion with the food at Pho Hoa. Maybe I need to try some other dishes to really conclude.

The vermicelli bowl saved my palate from the very herby noodles, that maybe taken care of if there was house tea. ‘Nuff said.

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