After some follow-up trips to Pho King, it appears the the pho there isn’t quite the triumph we might have made it out to the be in an earlier review. Since then, we’ve visited Aniseed and revisited Pho No. 1, and our conclusion is that pickings are still slim when it comes to this beloved bowl of Vietnamese rice noodles.
Based on a reader recommendation (thanks Aaron!), we went to Aniseed’s Xujiahui location for their lunch special (top photo), which at 42 RMB is very reasonable since it includes a bowl of pho, a crispy Vietnamese pork sandwich, and a tapioca dessert. The sandwich was fun, the pho was OK; thin noodles with good consistency, but a broth that was on the wimpy side. Still, definitely a good deal.
The pho at Pho No. 1 has always looked the prettiest, and our fingers were crossed when we recently gave it a second chance. Unfortunately, not much had changed. A good quantity of tripe does not make up for beef balls so tough we could have bounced them off the wall. Instead of lime wedges we got oranges ones, though that would hardly have made the difference with the broth’s watered down tepidity. With combo bowls over 50 RMB, it can’t play the value card, either.
The search continues.
Aniseed – 189 Guangyuan Lu, near Yishan Lu (广元路189号, 近宜山路) Tel: 6447-6488
Pho No. 1 – No. 13, Lane 248 Taikang Lu, near Sinan Lu (泰康路248弄13号, 近思南路) Tel: 5466-1707
Eric Hu, Shanghaiist’s Food Editor, knows it’s pronounced “fuh.” Email tips, recommendations, and news and gossip about Shanghai’s food scene to food at shanghaiist.com.