So Pho

August 14, 2014 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

So Pho
50 Jurong Gateway Road
#B1-08 JEM

23 Serangoon Central
#B1-15 NEX


http://www.katrinahldgs.com/


So Pho So Good!

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 6
Ambience & Setting: 6
Food & Beverage: 7
Service: 6
Value for Money: 8
Spent about SGD $17 per person.


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Vietnamese cuisine is quickly becoming trendy in Singapore, and one of the latest to jump on the bandwagon is So Pho. Operating as part of the Katrina Holdings Pte Ltd, So Pho offers popular Vietnamese street food in a casual, contemporary setting. With their value for money pricing, and tasty, healthy dishes, So Pho has slowly been pulling in the crowds.

Ambience at So Pho is casual, comfortable, and modern, with touches of Vietnamese decor. The spacious but dimly lit interior boasts colours of black and red, with large but rather nondescript furniture. Random bursts of greenery spread around So Pho help to partition off areas, while the bustling kitchen and noisy atmosphere lends an air of street food dining, albeit in an air-conditioned environment.

Service at So Pho is partially self-service. Ordering is done through a chit, though staff check off and repeat your orders, as well as serve it to your table. But payment has to be made at the counter. There is minimal interaction with staff beyond making requests, which I'm happy to say they carry out efficiently and quickly. Most of the staff are familiar with the menu and can answer simple questions on preparation and ingredients, though they have to check with the kitchen on more complicated questions.

So Pho, as its name suggests, specialises in Pho, a thin but flavourful broth served with beef or chicken, fresh vegetables, and rice vermicelli noodles. While the focus is on the street food of Vietnam, plating and presentation is European contemporary. Portions are generally large for one person, and pricing on average is less than SGD $12 per dish. In Vietnamese cuisine, there is a strong emphasis on the use of fresh ingredients and a balance of the 5 elements (spicy, sour, bitter, salty, and sweet), both of which are evident in the food at So Pho.


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I love the Pho Dac Biet (SGD $9.80) for its thin yet flavourful broth that has a strong taste of beef, herbs, and spices. Style is South Vietnamese, with garnishes of lean beef flank, beef brisket, and beef meatballs. I like that the meatballs have a slight bounce in texture, and the beef brisket is tender and soft. The beansprouts and onions add a crunch to texture, while the various herbs lend a floral essence and enhance the sweetness of the soup. Very good!

Pho Dac Biet 01


Pho Dac Biet 02


Pho Dac Biet 03



The Sparkling Vietnamese Limeade (SGD $3.80) is a refreshing but fizzy thirst quencher, though I did feel they used too much ice, which diluted the drink. I preferred the home brewed Lemongrass Tea (SGD $3.20), both for its light refreshing texture, and not too sweet taste.

Sparkling Vietnamese Limeade


Lemongrass Tea



The Banh Mi Kep Bo (SGD $5.90) features a small but crisp French baguette, stuffed with savoury grilled beef and fresh vegetables. I loved the meaty, slightly salty beef, and the satisfiying crunch of the bread and vegetables. While I thought it looked small, it's surprisingly filling!

Banh Mi Kep Bo 01


Banh Mi Kep Bo 02


Banh Mi Kep Bo 03



The Cha Gio Chien Fried Spring Rolls (SGD $4.80) weren't that great, as the skin was borderline limp and soft. The filling was tightly packed though, which was good.

Cha Gio Chien Fried Spring Rolls



The Chao Tom Prawn Cake With Sugarcane (SGD $6.80) is slightly small in portion, but packs good flavour. You can taste the distinct flavour of shrimp and herbs, enhanced with a little sweetness from the sugar cane, but I find the level of spiciness a bit lacking.

Chao Tom Prawn Cake With Sugarcane



I thought the Goi Cuon Summer Rolls With Prawn & Lemongrass Chicken (SGD $4.50) was very good, thanks to the savoury and meaty grilled chicken, which was tender and slightly moist. The crunchy vegetables and shrimp is a burst of sweet freshness that hits you first, then the taste of the chicken follows. Recommended!

Goi Cuon Summer Rolls With Prawn & Lemongrass Chicken



The Mixed Appetizers (SGD $10.80) is a good sampling portion of the various appetizers on the menu, but having tried this, I can safely say I'll probably only order the Goi Cuon Summer Rolls With Prawn & Lemongrass Chicken next time, and skip the rest.

Mixed Appetizers 01


Mixed Appetizers 02






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