Recently when I went up to the food court at The Starling, I noticed that Pho Real updated their menu.
|Image source : Pho Real FB|
I must say that it is visually pleasing, so much nicer compared to the initial one.
|Image source : Pho Real FB|
Gone were the spring & summer rolls and steamed Hue-style rice cake. I noted three new additions to the menu - the Charbroiled Chicken & Beef and Grilled Prawns & Imperial Spring Roll (these are from the Dry Noodle Salad category) and Basil & Lime Chicken Salad.
I decided to try the two new items.
The Charbroiled Chicken & Beef was what I used to enjoy back when they operated Du Viet.
This one is a tad pale in comparison in terms of flavor (including the peanut dressing, please bring back the old recipe!) but you get ample portions of protein to make up for it.
The caramel custard was complimentary and it made my day.
The Grilled Prawns & Imperial Spring Roll left me wanting due to the small portion of proteins. Besides it was served with just the peanut sauce which I felt needed some tweaking. I used to enjoy the peanut sauce during the Du Viet days.
From the Rice section, I am in favor of all three, my favorite being the Charbroiled Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken Chop (I have not tried the pork yet).
On this occasion, I added some vegetables as I felt I needed more greens hah..hah...
I love the chicken chop as the flavors really pop with the aromatic marinades.
My next favorite is the Beef Brisket Stew with White Radish.
The stew is hearty, with generous chunks of tender beef and yes, that's chili you see in the bowl. This stew is a little bit spicy hot, just slightly.
In spite of my misgivings about the set meals, I gave it another go when ordering the Braised Spicy Lemongrass Chicken. I drew the same conclusion about the extras although there was an improvement to the caramel custard.
This time I got the leg portion of chicken and though it was quite oily, the spicy lemongrass chicken was tasty due to the aromatic and delicious spice paste.
But let me tell you what are the BEST things here.
If you can only visit Pho Real just once, then you must order either the Hanoi Beef Pho or the Hue Spicy Beef Noodle. I have not tried the Dry-Style Beef Noodle but I trust that it is good too.
My top pick is the Hanoi Beef Pho.
Go for the Special if you want the whole works - beef fillet, brisket, balls and tendon.
It's a very generous bowl of pho and the broth has a robust beefy taste complemented by spices and herbs. I'll tell you that it is better than the one downstairs hah..hah...
My other favorite when I am in the mood for a spicy tangy soup is the Hue Spicy Beef Noodle (Special).
It was while waiting for my order last Saturday when I decided to check my phone only to be greeted by this shocking sad news.
WHAT??? NO!!!! NO!!!! Yeah, that's how I felt. Like a punch to my heart. I had watched Black Panther twice back in 2018. I felt like my heart just crashed heavily on the floor.
I actually lost my appetite there and then. That was how affected I was.
But life goes on. So I ate this amazing bowl of Hue Spicy Beef Noodle with a broken heart (drama betul Madam ni).
The broth was tangy and spicy and savory and my appetite was revived somewhat. And yes, this one is also better than the one downstairs.
Then I went downstairs to Starbucks for a Mocha Frappuccino (with extra shot of espresso because they don't do whisky) when I saw this.
I'm sorry, but I think this is unbecoming behavior. The child should not be allowed to stand on the counter for hygiene reasons. The mum was simply oblivious to all this. Sorry again for being crabby.
By the way, Judy's Hakka Lei Cha & Cuisines has called it a day.