From The Straits Times    |

Think of Vietnamese cuisine, and pho – the humble beef noodle soup – will probably be one of the first things that come to mind.

It is on the menus of a new wave of Vietnamese restaurants that have opened in the past five months.

Some of these new places also have the word “pho” in their names, such as Pho Pho Vietnamese Cuisine in Telok Ayer Street, Mrs Pho in Beach Road and Pho Hanh Delights in Joo Chiat.

But just because they leverage on the recognisable dish does not mean that pho is the only thing they serve. In fact, the restaurant owners are quick to highlight that there is a lot more to Vietnamese cuisine than rice noodles in beef broth, and they are banking on diners who are game to try something different.

Here, we’d picked out six of such Vietnamese restaurants to check out.

At Moc Quan, enjoy Pho Bo with sliced beef, brisket and beef meat balls (above) and banh mi made with freshly baked baguettes. — Image: Rudy Wong


What: Tuck into homey Vietnamese food at Moc Quan (say “kuan”), which means simple restaurant in Vietnamese. The 21/2-month-old eatery is run by local chef-owner Jeff Koh, who lived in Ho Chi Minh City for three years and learnt to cook from street vendors. Besides the familiar pho (from $8.50), the menu features dishes such as Ngheu Chem Chep Hap Xa ($12), which are clams and mussels cooked in a sweet and spicy lemongrass broth; banh canh cua ($9.90), thick rice noodles in crab and pork broth served with fresh crab meat; and canh cha ca thi la, homemade fish glue cooked in starfruit and dill broth ($7). The baguettes for the banh mi (from $5.50) are baked fresh daily and chef Koh hopes to start a banh mi cart to sell the sandwiches for takeaway soon. The restaurant closes occasionally, when he goes to Vietnam to source for ingredients. Customers can check the restaurant’s Facebook page for updates.

Where: UE Square Shopping Mall, 81 Clemenceau Avenue, 01-23, open: 10am to 9pm daily (closed today and re-opens tomorrow

Info: Go to

Halal Vietnamese joint Pho 4 All was started by (from left) Mr Jumali Johari and Mr Ramly Djamil. –Image: Berita Harian

2. PHO 4 ALL

What: For halal Vietnamese food, head to the 50-seat Pho 4 All. The restaurant’s simple menu features dishes such as Pho Bo Tai Nam ($8), beef noodle soup with half-cooked steak and beef brisket; and Pho Ga ($7.50), which is chicken pho.

Side dishes include grilled chicken on lemongrass skewers ($7 for three pieces) and spring rolls with minced chicken and mixed vegetables ($7 for five pieces).

Where: 7 Jalan Pisang, open: 11am to 7.30pm, Monday to Saturday, closed on Sunday

Info: Call 6294-0703

Among the 60 or so dishes on Pho Hanh’s menu are fresh spring rolls (above) and seafood such as gong gong. Image: Pho Hanh Delights


What: Previously a hawker stall at Telok Blangah Food Centre called Vietnam Food Hanh Delights and selling about eight items, it is now a restaurant with a menu of 60 dishes.

Seafood items include grilled scallops with onion ($8 or $10), fried cockles with tamarind ($6) and sweet sour fish hotpot ($22 or $34).

Noodle dishes include rice noodles with prawn roll and grilled pork ($7), crab rice noodle soup ($10) and pho ($6).

Where: 189 Joo Chiat Road, open: 11 to 2am daily

Info: Call 9118-8752

Mrs Pho, run by owners Hoang Ha, 35, and Darien Tan, 37, and executive chef Kim Anh, 48, serves Viet delights such as pho and meat balls (above). — Image: Rudy Wong


What: Mrs Pho features comfort Vietnamese cuisine. The five-month-old outlet’s menu features appetisers such as Hanoi meat balls ($3), cockles stir-fried with garlic and lard ($6.50), and fried pork spring roll ($3). Mains include pho ($7.90), assam seafood noodles ($8.90) and rice with pork chop, Vietnamese ham and fried egg ($7).

For drinks, try the Saigon salty lemonade ($2), herbal tea ($2) and Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk ($3).

The shelves are stocked with traditional Vietnamese hats, as well as boxes of prawn crackers and noodles – all of which will be available for sale soon.

Where: 349 Beach Road, open: 11am to 10pm, Monday to Saturday, closed on Sunday

Info: Call 6292-0018 or go to


What: This modern Vietnamese restaurant has an extensive menu, with dishes such as cold vermicelli with deep fried prawn rolls ($14); spicy pork and prawns ($12) served with pickles and white rice; and Pho Beef Combination ($14.90), with slices of beef and beef balls, plus offal such as tendon and tripe.

Where: 123 Telok Ayer Street, open: 11am to 10pm (Monday to Saturday), closed on Sunday

Info: Call 6534-9741


What: Pick from a selection of noodle dishes ranging from pho (from $8.90) to crab cake vermicelli ($12.90) to dry beef noodles ($10.90) with prawns and a spicy sauce.

Other highlights include BBQ chicken broken rice ($7.90) and desserts such as milk pudding with lychee syrup and almonds ($3.90) and mashed green bean with coconut milk ($3.90).

Where: Chinatown Point, 133 New Bridge Road, B1-33, open: 10am to 10pm (Monday to Saturday), 10am to 9.30pm (Sunday)

Info: Call 6444-3579 or go to

This article was first run in The Straits Times newspaper on September 14th 2014. For similar stories, go to You will not be able to access the Premium section of The Straits Times website unless you are already a subscriber.