It has been quite a while since I last visited Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Really missed the Bánh mì and Phúc Long‘s Cappucino Blast, not to mention the cheaper prices over there. I happen to chance upon Mrs Pho while strolling along Beach Road after having some Ah Balling at Golden Mile Food Centre. I will save that review for another day.
The exterior of Mrs Pho is kinda inconspicuous except for that green neon lighting. The interior is dimly lit with approximately 10+ tables. I visited on a Saturday afternoon around lunch time and the place was quite packed.
We were not feeling the “Pho” that day so my partner and I decided to try something different. We ordered the Vermicelli with BBQ Pork & Spring Rolls (dry) (S$9.50), Rice with Pan-fried Lemongrass Chilli Chicken (S$8.90) and Coconut Smoothie (S$5.50).
The Vermicelli came with 1 chopped up pork spring roll, 2 pork meatballs and sliced grilled pork for the meats. The vegetables included sliced carrots, cabbage, bean sprouts, chopped up chives, basil leaves and parsley as garnish. Ground peanuts were sprinkled over the dish before serving. A sweet-sour sauce was served in a separate small bowl which was to be added to the vermicelli.
The Pan-fried Lemongrass Chilli Chicken came with the chicken itself, served with white rice, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes. As with the Vermicelli, the same sweet-sour sauce was served separately.
First up the Vermicelli. The sweet-sour sauce added much-needed moisture and taste to the Vermicelli which would otherwise be dry and bland. Remember to give it a good stir to mix the sauce with all the ingredients. Coupled with the basil leaves, the sauce gave a tangy refreshing taste to the dish. The fresh cabbage and bean sprouts gave a nice crunch while the grounded peanuts provided a slightly nutty taste. I found this combination surprisingly delicious. The pork spring rolls were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The stuffing was made from minced pork and had a subtle peppery taste. The meatballs were very flavourful with bits of fats inside that gave it a slightly chewy texture. It had a salty meaty taste with a hint of black pepper. Lastly was the grilled pork. Although it was savoury, I found the meat to be dry and tough which was a big disappointment as it was supposed to be the centrepiece of the dish.
The Pan-fried Lemongrass Chilli Chicken fared much better as the meat was tender with a slight lemongrass flavour. I could not taste the chilli in the chicken though so I paired it with the chilli sauce available at the table side which gave it that spicy kick. The chicken skin was grilled to a crisp and had a delightful salty savouriness to it. The sweet-sour sauce had to be added to the white rice to make it more appetising and flavourful.
The Coconut Smoothie came in looking like ice-blended milk but was surprisingly refreshing. The taste of the coconut milk was not very overpowering and overall the drink was not too sweet which is to my liking.
Overall, I enjoyed the Vermicelli less the grilled pork, Lemongrass Chilli Chicken and the Coconut Smoothie. Definitely will return to try the Pho here.
Mrs Pho (Beach Road)
349 Beach Rd