What the pho! Something old, something new...
THE OLD GUARD
These are the restaurants that have been serving Hongkongers since way back… the established leaders of the pack. But are they still the best?
This old-school pick in Jordan is a little frayed at the edges, but still draws a crowd at lunchtime. Lo Chiu’s broth starts off light and sweet, but becomes richer and murkier as you dig down into the bowl. Service is fast and, despite Lo Chiu's ongoing popularity, you'll seldom need to wait for a seat. Lunch sets from $52 are not dirt cheap, but aren’t bad value either. G/F, 25-27 Man Yuen Street, Jordan, 2384 2143
Little has changed for this 40 plus year old Vietnamese institution in Hong Kong - from its bright green interiors (think chairs and table tops in cheap vinyl), and thankfully, the pho tastes pretty much the same today as it did decades ago. They come in a smaller size than most modern eateries ($45) and the soup has a more "spicy" than a beefy taste. We suspect they overload the broth with star anise and cinnamon to give it that "kick" instead of creating a rich beef stock. However, that aside, the noodles are always done al dente and silky and there is a good portion of sliced beef. The "winning" formula of this place is consistency - it's not the best pho we have tasted but quality remains the same, which for 40 years, has to stand for something. 89 Percival Street, Ground Floor, Causeway Bay; 2576 2240
THE YOUNG GUNS
Looking for something fresh and new? Look no further than Hong Kong’s newest pho destinations...
Chua Lam's Pho
Come here before 12 or after 2pm, or you’ll be waiting for at least an hour before you get a seat. It’s the hottest pho spot in town right now. And for good reason, their beef broth is unforgettable; heavenly rich, but without it being too heavy, helped by a judicious sprinkling of green onions, white onions and coriander that give a clean aftertaste. Their signature special beef pho comes with flat rice noodles, house-made beef balls, thick beef slices and pieces of tripe. Served on the side is a generous handful of bean sprouts, thai basil and ngo gai leaves. The noodles are made in-house. Silky and and a little too soft; how pho should be. The beef slices aren’t the thinly sliced type that’s popular in Hong Kong, but again, it’s just as they should be. Their signature bowl is huge, with a price tag to match ($128). G–1/F, 15–25 Wellington Street, Central, 2325 9117
l’Annam Banh Mi et Pho
A tiny shop behind Times Square, l’Annan Banh Mi et Pho is better known for their Banh Mi. But we tried their signature beef and chicken pho, and we have to say you’ll definitely get your best bang for your buck here. At only $68 their beef pho has the whole shebang, wholesome beef balls, medium-rare and well-done beef slices, onion slices to flavour, all served in a lovely light broth. We wouldn’t say this is the best pho we’ve tried, but it’s definitely kind on your wallet. 30 Yiu Wa Street, Yiu Wa St, Bowrington, 3460 4407