Nepali Times
Review
Saigon Pho


PICS: MARCO POLO

Moving on up. Owners of Upstairs Café in Maharajgunj (not to be confused with Jazz Upstairs) have opened a second location in Lazimpat, an aesthetic upgrade from the quick-paced, casual canteen. The two-week-old Saigon Pho boasts an upscale feel, while serving generous portions at the same midscale prices.

Spacious, inviting, hip. The renovated manor provides ample seating on two levels (and plans for rooftop dining are slated for this summer). Its carmine interior and sable furniture take after the duotone bowls so characteristic of East Asia; paper lanterns and cushions soften the modern setting.

But the difference between the two establishments isn't merely cosmetic. Exclusive to Saigon Pho, the Vietnamese-Nepali owners throw in new additions to their Vietnamese preparations, once again extending the city's gastronomical dictionary:

Ga nuong mia. In my experience the average Nepali isn't a fan of sugared meats like Sweet and Sour Pork, but this uniquely Vietnamese appetizer consisting of minced chicken or pork barbecued on a sugar cane stick is worth reevaluating even the most pigheaded comfort. The savory, succulent pork balances so well with the sweet, fibrous stalk.

Thit kho trung ga. A welcomed entrée to the table, the Vietnamese stew like this pork rendition with boiled eggs is as traditional and common as pho. Morsels of pork with bone and fat-in swim in a consommé seasoned with fish sauce, coriander and red chilies.

Bun thit nuong tom. Dry, flat rice noodles topped with spring rolls, peanuts, fried garlic, pickled carrot shreds and choice of meat are a house specialty that celebrates the diverse fluency of the Vietnamese palate. Sunken in a subtly sweet sauce and incorporated well, the bowl is satiating. Go for the barbecue pork or tofu over the separate minced chicken sugarcane sticks. You'll see why.

Pho dac bief. The titled dish is nothing new but is a mainstay worth mentioning. The Special Pho consists of sliced beef and chicken and shrimp rendered in a simmering broth garnished with lime, green onion, coriander, basil and bean sprouts. Plum and chili sauce make the dish.

Che bap. Still no che ba mau but a nice finish, the sweet corn in coconut milk dessert renders a warm and filling nightcap.

Saigon Pho serves authentic plates in a classy setting and should be lauded and frequented for its specialized cuisine. The proprietors however could be a bit more daring and introduce even more exotic specials like doi huyet (something like a French boudin), oxtail, tendon, or tripe pho. Is Kathmandu ready?

Face the Shangri-La Hotel in Lazimpat and turn 180°



1. Saigon Pho

Thank you so much Nepali Times for writing about us. We really appreciate!

Saigon Pho opens: Mon-Sat: 11am to 9pm and Sundays: 5pm to 9pm only!

Contact: 981-309-3055

 



2. STEVEN MAIRS
Good luck Saigon Pho! I can't wait to try your new place on my next trip to KTM.

3. Saigon Pho
thank you Seteven and you will be most welcome to our new place. see you soon.

LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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