Mrs Pho has opened an offshoot, Mrs Pho House at Rangoon Road, taking over the space of the defunct Grub Noodle Bar. Mrs Pho sells pho mostly, but Mrs Pho House focuses on Vietnamese seafood dishes–call it Vietnamese cze char, if you will–a concept that Singapore has not seen.
Like the innovative concept, the restaurant’s design is one of a kind. At the entrance, the neon sign of the shop name is at the ceiling. Inside, there is a sexy mural, not dissimilar to Japanese’s tentacle erotica. The eclectic decor is a mix of cement, wood, metal, mosaic tiles, and a cylinder beaded curtains that is chopped off at the sides. Wow, I’m turned on just talking about the design.
The food is magnificent too. The 2-page menu is sectioned into starters, seafood, and mains. From the starters, the bo nuong la lot (minced beef in betel leaves, grilled, $7.90, pictured above) is the weirdest dish we had. It is sweet and pungent, with an intense salty aftertaste. It is strange, but it isn’t bad.
The other start, Mrs Pho spring roll ($6.90), is extraordinary. It’s minced pork with yam(!!!) and mushroom in mung bean wrap(!!!). It’s spectacular, and very different from the usual spring roll; the sweetness of the yam has uplifted it. Order it.
Other interesting starters on the menu include lucky meat balls ($6.50), starfruit sliced beef ($7.90), and Hoa’s hot wings ($6.90).
The seafood section: the recommended dish in this section is the house crab ($32), which comes with pork floss. But since I have no money, let’s pretend the Mrs Pho cockles ($10.90) is crab. Hey, both crab and cockles start with “C” and must use hands to eat. “C”oincidence, I think not.
Although there are two or three bad muddy cockles, they are outstanding in the super garlicky and spicy sauce. It would wash down so well with beer. Definitely keep the sauce to eat with rice. Order this.
The last section, Mains: they have the usual and ubiquitous suon nuong (pork chop, $9.90) and ga nuong (chicken chop, $9.90). People around us ordered banh xeo tom thit ($12.90), a heap of cabbage you use to wrap prawn, pork, bean sprouts and egg. Rau xao dac biet ($9.90) is a seldom-seen winged bean stir-fried in garlic.
We had the ca kho (stewed catfish, $13.90), which is very good value. It comes with 4 big slices of fish in an oily, salty sauce with tonnes of lard. Not bad.
The piece de resistance, thit kho (pork belly, $12.90), is AMAZING. The soup is almost too salty and too oily, but gives way to an rich sweetness of the pork. Mindblowing good.
I like that the food comes in claypots which retain heat for a long time. After we finished our cockles, the catfish was still hot that Mr Fitness scalded his tongue.
Including two bowls of rice ($1 each), we paid $60 for two persons. But we ate enough for 3-4 persons. This experience is fantastic: food is homely, delicious and affordable, served in a cool af setting. So much win.
Mrs Pho House
221 Rangoon Road, Singapore 218459
Tel: +65 9173 1083
W-F 6pm-10.30pm, Weekends 12pm-10.30pm
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.