Saturday, November 12, 2005
PhoChine, Wisma Atria
There is a severe shortage of good pho joints in Singapore (unlike in California, where apparently most Vietnamese emigrants went, instead of here in neighboring Southeast Asia). We've got Pho Hoa out here (of American Vietnamese fame), but that's about it. There aren't many other worthy alternates, as I'm not a big fan of Le Viet nor that shop up in Funan Centre.
The only other choice in my mind then is PhoChine (Wisma Atria, 6238-3450), which is part of the big Indochine group. I've had some half-decent appetizers and dishes at various Indochine outlets before, but I've never liked them so much that I get the urging to come back; for some reason, the food that I get at these places simply lacks an edge (not to mention the food that many times had turned cold by the time they served it to me). Case in point: witness the pho bo today, which was served to me in a near lukewarm state (ugh), and the beef was sliced disturbingly thick. As well, the key to any bowl of pho is the secret family recipe used to stew the broth all day, and unfortunately, I find PhoChine's broth to be too heavy; I prefer a much lighter flavor (that's why I like pho - it's refreshing...and great for purifying your stomach after filling up on beer the night before). I also wish they would give a bigger bowl, along with some fresh chili peppers (instead of the pickled stuff in the little jars).
Still, I don't go kicking and screaming when I eat here. It's still respectable, all things considered, and the goi cuon fresh rice paper rolls are much better here than at Pho Hoa (here, they are very fresh and tightly wrapped, whereas Pho Hoa has always been limp and frail). But, just like with kebabs and Mexican food in Singapore, I yearn for trips overseas to get better versions.
Digested at 1:06 PM
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