Soo Viet – Panda Peeks
While not hard to spot a Vietnamese restaurant in Hong Kong, it is hard to track down an authentic pho in the hustle and bustle of the urban concrete jungle. I personally love Vietnamese cuisine. With the balance between fresh herbs and meats and a selective use of spices to reach a fine taste, Vietnamese food is considered one of the healthiest cuisines worldwide.
The story behind Soo Viet goes like this: Hong Nguyen and Eric Dao were so frustrated with being unable to find a bowl of “real pho” in the city to cure their hangover cravings that they decided to start their own Vietnamese restaurant.
The friendly neighbourhood joint offers staples such as beef pho and pork chop vermicelli and crowd favourites like spring rolls, squid cakes and Vietnamese crepes – all at pretty much affordable prices (nb: a lunch set at Soo Viet is just $33).
So I set off towards Des Veoux Road West to locate this small Viet eatery to see if the pho really lives up to the standards.
The beef in the Pho by Soo Viet is thinly sliced and of a delicate texture. The noodles were tender with a nice body, and completely absorbed the beef broth which had an underlying earthiness brought on by the long simmering of bones, oxtail and flank.
Did you know that in Vietnam, Pho is traditionally served during breakfast time?
Hungry post-gym, I felt like I needed a protein fix so also ordered the chicken salad from Soo Viet. It came with thinly shredded red cabbage (like a coleslaw) and refreshing mint. The dressing was harmoniously balanced with just the perfect combination of fish sauce, sugar, lime juice and chilli.
I was also curious to ‘test’ the bun cha, the cold vermicelli. As such, I ordered the grilled pork neck bun cha. The dish arrived in eight slices, thinly sliced with juices retained on top of a bowl of white rice noodles with shaved lettuce, radish, carrots and cucumber. Pork was very flavorsome and super tender.
As for the seating arrangement, don’t expect luxury – you don´t need it. The shop is small and tables are aligned quite close to each other so it is a very cosy environment. Service is, nonetheless, super efficient and very attentive and the place is clean and comfy. It definitely makes a good place for a quick lunch-time meal or evening snack.
Address: 247 Des Voeux Rd W, Sheung Wan
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