Chualam’s Pho restaurant review: good Vietnamese noodles for the diner on a budget

We find Hong Kong’s hottest eats ’n’ treats

Ginny Wong |

Latest Articles

K-pop stars BTS target of racist rant by German radio show host, who compared them to coronavirus

Chinese comedian Jia Ling’s ‘Hi, Mom’ may become the country’s highest-grossing movie by a female director

‘The World’s a Little Blurry’ in Apple TV+’s new Billie Eilish documentary

ESF schools will not change practices under Hong Kong’s national security law

Hasbro drops ‘Mr’ from the Potato Head brand name in effort to be more inclusive

Chualam’s Pho's Pho Ga.

Chualam’s Pho

UG/F, Kailey Tower, 15-25 Wellington Street, Central

Tel: 2325 9117

Grub: Cheap Vietnemese food

Vibe: Relaxed and casual. The restaurant is warmly-lit, and you can watch your meals getting prepped in the open kitchen. For a street-vibe feel, stay downstairs. For a more intimate dining experience, head upstairs.

Chualam’s Pho's Fried Shrimp Steak.
Photo: Sean Halloran

Who to take: A group of your mates. There’s plenty of seating available for even the most social of butterflies.

What’s hot: The beef pho (HK$68) is arguably one of the best bowls we’ve tried anywhere – the broth is hot and tasty, the noodles are the right amount of springy and chewy, and we appreciated that they were made in front of us. The beef was not served as raw as we would have liked (though others seemed to have been served it perfectly pink), but was still tender and packed with flavour.

For those who prefer non-soupy noodles, the grilled pork neck with lemongrass and fried spring roll in vermicelli (HK$68) is a great choice. The pork neck was perfectly cooked and juicy, though we’d skip the spring roll, which was oddly dry and bland.

Chom Chom has tasty tasty Vietnamese street food in the heart of Hong Kong

If you still feel peckish, pick up an order of the fried shrimp steak (HK$78), which comes served with a spicy sauce that we could have eaten by itself. The shrimp was firm and chewy, but it’s the crispy coating that we liked the most – each bite we took had a satisfying crunch to it.

What’s not: We were sadly disappointed by the pho ga (HK$78). While the noodles were still tasty, the chicken was very tough, and the broth much plainer than the zingy soup in the beef version.

Cost: Pho and vermicelli dishes cost HK$58-HK$198. Appetizers and vegetables cost HK$48-HK$98. Desserts are between HK$19 and HK$39. Drinks are HK$16-HK$42.