Whether you ‘re a pho-natic, or just craving a delicious bowl of the good stuff to warm you up on these nippy winter days, finding a decent pho in Hong Kong can be a real challenge. Fatty meat, greasy broth, and flavourless toppings can ruin the whole experience and put you right off this cherished Vietnamese dish. So to save you the disappointment, we’ve slurped our way around the city to find you the best bowls that will make you fall in love with pho all over again.
BÊP Vietnamese Kitchen
With its chic, street cafe style interior, three prime locations, and seven varieties of pho alone, it’s no surprise that BÊP Vietnamese Kitchen has remained a firm favourite with pho lovers since it opened its doors in the city. There’s a good reason for the queues at lunch and dinnertime – the broth is incredible, if not the best in the city. So what’s the secret? Well, the beef bone and brisket base is simmered for hours, before chicken and pork bone is added to achieve several layers of flavour, along with a hint of star anise, cinnamon, and dried fruit peal. Aside from the heavenly broth, the toppings here are strikingly fresh and bursting with flavour , adding a depth of flavour to your bowl. At $78 for the classic Pho Tai (with thinly sliced sirloin) and $98 for the Pho Fillet Hanoi (with hand chopped fillet mignon) this is an absolute steal and worth every dollar.
BÊP Vietnamese Kitchen, Lower Ground Floor, 9 – 11 Staunton Street, Soho, (+852) 2522 7533
Ground Floor 88 – 90 Wellington Street, Central, (+852) 2581 9992
Ground Floor G70 Olympian City 2, Tai Kok Tsui, (+852) 2385 3777
A popular lunch spot with shoppers and office workers in the bustling Causeway Bay district, Nha Trang in Times Square is often filled to the brim with those looking to slurp on a big bowl of pho or the restaurant’s popular house specials. There are a whopping 10 variations of pho to choose from in this spacious eatery, and whether you choose beef slices or a mixture of brisket with beef slices, chicken, or chicken and beef, you certainly won’t be disappointed. While the broth is beautifully balanced and not too rich in flavour, the side dish of bean sprouts, coriander, lime, and chilli is large enough to last you the entire meal, which is also hearty in the size department. Ranging from $70 to $88 (for the prime filet mignon), this is a very reasonable option given the quality of meat and popularity of the restaurant. There are also six other branches to choose from.
Nha Trang, Shop 1303, 13/F, Times Square, 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay, (+852) 2506 2220
Click here for the other locations
Bún Chả Vietnamese
What Bún Chả lacks in size, it certainly makes up for in flavour. Perched on the side of sloping Aberdeen Street, and seating only around 20 customers at a time, this unassuming restaurant manages to encapsulate the authentic feel of a local Vietnamese eatery – with a pho to match. There are seven varieties to choose from, ranging from $79 to $91, and giving you the option to choose beef, pork neck, chicken, or salami. The Rare Beef Noodle Soup, however, remains the bestseller, due to the quality of the tender medium-cooked thin sliced sirloin and the perfectly balanced broth which is clean and fresh. If you want to add a kick to you pho, opt for the Ginger Beef Noodle Soup.
Bún Chả Vietnamese, King Ho Building, Shop 1, G/F, King Ho Building, Aberdeen Street, Sheung Wan, (+852) 2858 1900
Cóm Bánh Mì
While the pho at Cóm Bánh Mì is slightly smaller than the servings in other restaurants in the city, it still deserves a spot on our list – especially if you have a liking for salty flavours. The broth here is a little heavier than usual, which is just as well given the modest portion size, and with only chicken or beef to choose from, it’s a great option if you’re in need of a quick and dirty pho fix. This small, causal eatery likes to keep things simple, which perhaps explains its no reservation, first-come first-serve policy, so make sure you avoid the lunch crowd, as the place fills up fast. This is hardly surprising though, given the amazing set lunch menu on offer, where you get to enjoy a beef or chicken pho with a side of chicken wings, papaya salad, spring rolls, or rice paper rolls, and a drink for a piddly $80. Race you there!
Cóm Bánh Mì, 28 Tai Wong Street East, Wan Chai, (+852) 2528 9131
Hidden away in ‘the lanes’ (aka Li Yuen Street West in Central), Pho Bar serves up tasty pho to customers seated along a narrow bar, where you get to watch it being prepared. Now if you’re fussy about your pho, then this is your ideal spot, as you not only get to choose what meat goes into the broth, but also the type of noodles, condiments, and additional toppings (which cost $20 each). If you want to keep things simple, however, opt for the bestselling Medium Rare U.S Selected Beef Pho ($85) with traditional flat rice noodles and the usual garnishes. Whatever you go for, you can expect a rich and satisfying broth with a depth of flavour that will keep you coming back for more.
Pho Bar, 24 Li Yuen Street West, Central, (+852) 2109 2028
Another great option for those who prefer to customise their pho, Brass Spoon allows you to select your own meat, ingredients, and additional toppings (which range from $8 to $25 each). With the Raw Beef Pho costing $90 (before you’ve even added any extras), this isn’t the cheapest bowl in town, but the quality of the beef and well-balanced flavour of the broth make it worth a try. The casual and stylish setting is also alluring, with wooden flooring, marble table tops, and bare light bulb fixtures giving it a slight hipster vibe. If you prefer dining in a more spacious venue, then stick with the Central branch where you can either sit at a large communal table in the centre or along the bar. The Wan Chai outlet, on the other hand, is very limited on space and fills up fast come lunchtime.
Brass Spoon, Shop B G/F 1-, 3 Moon Street, Wan Chai, (+852) 2877 0898
G/F, 10 Pottinger Street, Central, (+852) 2804 1811
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