We’ve always wanted to go try out Pho No. 1 in Gubei because we have been teetering on the brink of the desperation for a piping hot bowl of good pho for as long as we can remember. But oh well, so far mere mention of the word “Gubei” is enough to make us retreat nicely into our homes and boil water for those nasty instant Hongshao Niurou Lamian cup noodles (anyone else wants one?).
FCC (tasty but in overly small portions) and Golden Bull (crap) aside, we were dismayed when Le Garcon Chinois stopped serving Vietnamese on its menu (because we haven’t had a chance to go try it after all that we have heard). So it’s opportune that we stumbled upon the newly-opened Pho No. 1 at Taikang Lu the other weekend. In spite of the mediocre review we’ve recently read, we think they did up decent enough pho to satiate our craving nevertheless.
There are many variations of pho on the menu, alongside a smattering of Chinese fare, but we decided to opt for the standard pho bo (RMB 32/ 48) to keep things down to the basics. The Vietnamese rice paper rolls were delicious with the right amount of crunch even though they brought us a wrong dipping sauce at first.
When our pho bo came, we thought the slices of raw beef look suspiciously identical to the type used in Chinese hotpots, but we’ll let that slide as they also brought us all the vital garnishes: basil leaves, sliced chilli padi (not capsicum substitutes), bean sprouts and lime wedges. More brownie points for Pho No. 1 when our second request of more sliced chilli and lime wedges did not invite any grudgeful looks from the chirpy helpful wait staff.
We’ve been back twice in two weeks, though we experienced tardy service the first time (had to ask for check three times) and better service the second. If nothing else can be said of our pho standards, the least it would be is we really heart pho this much.
Pho No. 1 Vietnamese Cuisine, Lane 248, No. 13 Taikang Lu, near Sinan Lu 泰康路248弄13号，近思南路 Tel: 5466 1707