Thursday, November 30, 2006

Viet Express Authentic Vietnamese Cuisine

Pho Dac Biet

This was a place that I had noted to myself last week, and so I finally made it down here today (3 Pickering Street #01-34, 6536-9914). These guys were brand new, with wait staff trying aggressively to pull people into the restaurant (and seeming a bit surprised that I was actually already intending to go eat there). They had quite a bit of interesting stuff on the menu that I'd never seen before and wanted to try, but in order to really get a good sense of what these guys were about, I went for the usual pho and rice paper rolls today.

Fresh Rice Paper RollsIn general, thumbs up. While neither the pho nor the rice paper rolls were any particular knockout to me, they did the job very suitably, and were much better than many others around here, including their neighbors Cafe Banh Mi. Admittedly, I think I still liked the broth from Viet Inn just a tad better, but this still did the job, and perhaps would do even better than Viet Inn on some of those other dishes (read: yes, I do plan to come back here to find out).

Indeed, one very interesting thing that I was not expecting but was rather impressed with was a little bowl of soup on the side, complete with a white pepper shaker explicitly for this little bowl. I was a bit puzzled as to why they would provide a bowl of soup on the side of a bigger bowl of soup, but when I finally dug into the little bowl, I realized why. This little thing was something else, with a very carefully balanced unpierced egg yolk floating in the middle that was a delight to eat as it oozed out inside your mouth. I'm still not sure what this was about (is this the way it's done in Vietnam?), but I liked it.

The wait staff here was still undergoing some huge teething issues during these first few days of their operations, but it didn't matter in the end. I'm coming back, with Cafe Banh Mi pretty much now swept out of the picture.

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