Do you know that I have a top ten list of favourite cuisines and that Vietnamese food ranks quite high on that list? I still remember how I went to Hanoi a few years ago and ate so much in a day I got indigestion and had to eat only pho the next day to recover. Vietnamese food to me represents everything that's yummy in Southeast Asia. I find that it is tempered with a milder flavour than Thai food but has a stronger balance when it comes to texture and herbs. So when less-than-6-months-new Vietnamese food stall Pho-losophy at Asia Square Tower 1's bustling Food Garden invited me to try out their food for dinner, I was immediately on board! Not to mention my office is just a few blocks away ^.^
Being at a food garden/court in the heart of CBD means Pho-losophy caters mostly to the working lunch crowd. That doesn't mean they don't open for dinner! In fact, I find the Food Garden a really peaceful place for a moderately priced meal in the evenings. Here you can see the menu of items offered at the stall, which is situated near the end of the long food court, nearer to the Imperial Treasure / Toastbox end.
We started with some Sugarcane Prawn Sticks Bun (S$12), which is essentially fried stuff with some dry vermicelli noodles, and a sweet tangy sauce to pour over. Each of them also came with a crispy pork and prawn spring roll, which was the only thing that didn't taste that great (mushy on the inside). Otherwise the prawn sticks themselves were generous, springy and crunchy! Fresh vermicelli noodles and sprinkling of veggies means this is a healthy light meal that won't cause a food coma after. 3.5/5
I also tried a Crackling Roast Pork Belly Banh Mi (S$10) which for the price is really value-for-money. Unfortunately the crackling part of the pork was not up to scratch as it was a bit tough and rubbery - but I really enjoyed the slightly spicy creamy dressing in there and the fresh ingredients even after a long day. The highlight was also the fresh crispy baguette - you know how good it is by how loud it is when you bite into it! 3.5/5
Of course, the mainstay of that night was the pho. The broth was slow cooked for over 20 hours, as the owner explained. The aim is to bring quality pho to Singaporeans because there's a gap in the market now. The rare Australian wagyu beef slices pho (S$15) has a higher than average price tag, but you could taste it in the fats that went into the clear soup, and the soft tender slices of beef. I really loved it - warm, comforting, not too salty nor sweet and filled with generous portions of beef and noodles. I'll definitely be back! 4.5/5
Asia Square Tower 1 Food Garden
8 Marina View, Singapore 018960
10am to 8pm on weekdays, closed on weekends/PH
Thanks to Pho-losophy and Food News PR for the invite!