I believe that food like good music and a good book is a solace to a person's soul. Food is both a science and an art - a yin-yang balance to your body and also an appreciation of colors, textures and sensory experience.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Pho Hoa Hong - 135 Street Surrey

Pho Hoa Hong on Urbanspoon

Its been raining the past 2 days and it is times like this when I start dreaming of a bowl of warm pho - comfort food at its best :).

Went to Pho Hoa Hong some 2 weeks ago and I was pleasantly surprised by the food. The infamous Pho Tham was located at the exact same street but somehow, I decided to venture into a place which is somewhat less popular.

The beef pho came in two sizes - small and large. Small is pretty filling for me. I liked the fact that my pho had some nice ligaments - a source of calcium for me.. I actually thought the best part of the beef pho was the ligaments.

The beef looks so inviting.

The broth was lightly seasoned - am kind of used to a much heavier broth.

One thing I learn is not to put a lot of beansprouts into your pho - I know this sounds so bad and so carnivorous but believe me, it seriously dilutes the subtle taste of the rich broth. It sounded so out of the world to me the first time someone gave me this advice. Then I recalled my granny's words when I was in elementary school .She said that bean sprouts are considered a "water vegetable" and so one has to be "light fingered" when one adds them into soup. Also she warned me about not adding too much water when frying bean sprouts with salted fish.  A couple of month ago, I came across this review about prawn mee soup in Singapore (http://ieatishootipost.sg/2010/01/beach-road-prawn-mee-order-your-prawn.html) The owner of the prawn mee stall categorically also told the writer of the blog not to add bean sprouts into the soup because it will affect the taste of the soup.

I love my appetizers in Pho Hoa Hong. It was some shrimps BBQ with bacon. Somehow, the fat in the bacon melted over the shrimps and made it so juicy. The entire shrimps was highly seasoned with tamarind sauce. The Vietnamese meat loaf was also pretty impressive - moist and lightly seasoned. 

The shrimps were slightly charred but it tasted to good with the tamarind sauce and the melted fat from the bacon.

I know the center of my attraction is the shrimp and bacon in skewers. The meat loaf seems so grey in color but  it is really worth a try.

Overall Experience:

Deco: 3/5. Service was quick and efficient. It is a no-fuss joint with Chinese paintings adorn on the walls. I was pretty relieved that the washroom was pretty clean.

Quality of food: 4/5. I was very happy with my pho and my shrimps. Also, I did not experience any extreme thirst after drinking basically nearly all the broth in my soup.
Value for $$: $$$$$/5. Price is reasonable and would not break your bank. Portions are also generous.
Overall Experience: 4/5. Its not the best beef pho that I had but I was happy with it. And I really like my shrimps and bacon.


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