Vietnamese pho for under US$12 at Hong Kong food critic’s first restaurant
- Chua Lam’s Pho is Hong Kong food critic Chua Lam’s first restaurant, and has a menu consisting primarily of noodle and vermicelli dishes
- It was the raw beef pho that came out as the dish of the day
A short walk away from the Lan Kwai Fong nightlife district, Chua Lam’s Pho is Hong Kong food critic Chua Lam’s first restaurant.
The interior of the two-storey restaurant is stylish, and it is spacious and comfortable. The open kitchen is right next to the entrance, allowing customers a glimpse of their dishes being cooked.
The menu consists primarily of noodle and vermicelli dishes, along with some southeast Asian snacks, desserts and beverages. We picked two of their noodle dishes and a cold vermicelli dish, along with a fried shrimp steak.
The raw beef pho (HK$88) was our favourite dish of the day. It came with quite a large serving of flat rice noodles, which were not overcooked.
The pho was served with sprouts and mint leaves, as well as a small dish of chilli peppers and a slice of lime, which we dunked into the sweet and clear broth. The raw beef was tender and fresh.
Our second bowl of beef pho came with tripe and shank (HK$68). The beef tripe was quite chewy and nicely absorbed the flavours of the broth.
The beef shank wasn’t spectacular, and we thought the raw beef had a better texture. They offered free noodles refills, but we were quite full after the initial serving.
We also tried the cold vermicelli dish served with grilled pork neck with lemongrass and fried spring rolls (HK$68), which was light and refreshing. Shredded lettuce and carrots were fresh and plentiful, although we thought there could have been more vermicelli.
It came with a small jug of fish sauce, which added a zesty touch to the dish, although one reviewer thought it was a bit sour.
The grilled pork neck was tender, and the fried spring rolls, filled with vermicelli, minced meat, carrot and coriander, were crisp.
The waiters readily refilled our glasses with sweet-tasting monk fruit water as we finished off our noodles, but they seemed to have forgotten our fried shrimp steak.
When it arrived, the steak (HK$78), served with a small dish of sweet and sour sauce, was nicely fried, with plenty of fresh shrimp meat folded into the minced shrimp mixture.
Chua Lam Pho, 15-25 Wellington Street, Central, tel: 2325 9117. Open: 10am-2pm, 4.30pm-10pm