If you have been reading HeaRty’s Haven, you might have browsed through my Pho Hoa post. Pho Hoa is definitely one of my favorite Vietnamese restaurants in the Philippines. I always have this big smile on my face whenever I step out of the restaurant. The taste of their food is just awesome, one of the best really.
I recently found out that they have an express version of the restaurant called Pho Viet Express. The one that we tried out was in Trinoma. After working out at the gym, we were starving and as we walked along SM the Block we saw Pho Viet Express. Their menu is similar to Pho Hoa’s menu but only the best selling ones are there. Only a few quick choices and a bit cheaper too!
I also noticed that they don’t have an ala carte menu, it’s either noodles or rice toppings. So we decided to just order separately (we usually share).
We both wanted to eat healthy. It was really a conscious effort. Luckily, there were 2 fish dishes available at Pho Viet. It’s funny that we ordered those, me the steamed one while Christina ordered fried fillet.
Here’s a complete list of our orders:
- Fresh Vietnamese Goi Cuon (Php 106.40)
Best seller appetizer which is a combination of vegetable and pork spring rolls. You better dip it in the peanut sauce provided by Pho Viet Express. It just feels bare without it. Vietnamese spring rolls is really something different to the Filipino version. Even our fresh lumpia is totally different too. What makes this spring roll so great is not only the wrapper, but the light ingredients almost make these spring rolls a variant of the sushi. And I guess, that’s where I was headed with the comparison, with Vietnamese spring rolls, you really get a very light dish out of it.
Pho Viet’s spring rolls is just a great marriage of very fresh ingredients, with the best part being that very complimenting peanut sauce. And I guess that’s one way to distinguish Vietnamese dishes is their frequent use of peanuts in their dishes.
- Steamed Fish (Php 257.60)
The fish fillet was huge! We can actually share this dish and just order extra rice. I never thought it that it would be that big, but the funny thing is that I was able to finish the dish all by myself hahaha :p I didn’t feel guilty though as fish is a healthy dish plus it was so delicious! Pretty well seasoned and fish was cooked just right. The many layers of this dish is really something once we think about it. I know that the fish was seasoned well, it was moist, and yet they decided to really add a lot extras to make it stand out. And to me, that’s what makes a good restaurant great.
With this dish, they were able to add the layer of extra flavor because of that wonderful broth, the crispy beancurd also gave it some contrast in textures, and those lovely spring onions not only was great for presentation but really added some subtle flavor to this complex yet simple dish.
Honestly, bravo to the chef who conceptualized this dish, every little detail seems to have been tought of, all the way to the presentation of the dish itself. And most of all, as I said — perfectly seasoned.
- Fried Fish with Sweet Chili (Php 184.80)
I thought that their fried fish wouldn’t taste as good but when I tried it, I was like “Wow!”. It’s actually better than some other restaurants’ fried fish. I can’t tell why but I’m guessing it might be the way they cooked it. Or maybe the flour is much less?
I think it may have been to do with how they marinaded the fish, the coating they used for the fish itself, and not to mention how they cooked it. I could tell that it was cooked perfectly, and not overcooked. It was obvious because the fish was so moist, still full of flavor, and very soft and tender.
Anyhow, both variants were excellent (steamed & fried). My friend and I were both happy campers!
- Vietnamese Coffee (Php 84)
I’m not a coffee drinker but I was curious how a Vietnamese coffee taste like. The presentation is definitely different. They first put condensed milk in the cup and ice (if you want it cold), put on the coffee separator, put the coffee then pour water on it.
You have to put the separator away to drink the coffee. Very unique and I loved the taste of it. Not too bitter and not too sweet. Just perfect coffee.
- Vietnamese Pandan Mongo Cake (Php 39.20)
Sticky cake composed of Pandan and Mongo. Simple yet it does its job, a great way to end a Vietnamese meal. Not too heavy but not too light. 🙂 Again, I rave about just how simple many of the dishes Pho Hoa and its express counterpart has on its menu, and this dessert is one of them. With this dessert, the texture is something that I always seem to like. The combination of flavors, texture, and the sweetness is just perfect.
I also like the color combination of the place, orange and green. Not typical for a restaurant but it works for Pho Viet Express. PLUS, plus it’s November, which made it perfect for Halloween! hehehe 😛
This is me and Christina super happy with our meal and ready for a whole afternoon of shopping! 🙂
Pho Viet Express Noodles & Grills
4th Level, The Block, SM City North EDSA, North Avenue corner EDSA, Quezon City, Philippines