Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Review: Vietnam Cafe Pho Saigon

Vietnam Café Pho Saigon
52 N Hotel St
Corner of Smith and Hotel (Chinatown)

We were walking around Chinatown after First Friday last week looking for a Vietnamese place to go eat at. Pho Saigon looked crowded, so I thought it would be a good place to go check out. What a disappointment, I can’t say this one makes it onto my list of top Vietnamese restaurants in Honolulu.

The menu is very standard: pho, rice noodle dishes, spring & summer rolls, green papaya salad, Vietnamese drinks & desserts. Everything is also very reasonably priced.

Left: pho; Right: green papaya salad

We ordered shrimp summer rolls, a pho soup (beef brisket & regular beef) for $5.50 and a green papaya salad with pork & shrimp (also $5.50) to share. The summer rolls came with a thick peanut sauce. The filling was overwhelmingly dry rice noodles…skimpy on the basil, mint and lettuce. The green papaya salad was also very dry, with a bland dressing on the side. The shrimp were obviously frozen. The pho was OK, the broth was really tasty, but nothing special. I wouldn’t make a trip back to this place, since there are so many other Vietnamese options in Chinatown.

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