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Authentic pho’ sure

Summer rolls: This has been my third or fourth time here. Each visit brings more customers. When it used to be relatively deserted, Pho’ House is now receiving its due recognition. Location-wise they’re strategically nestled in the heart of Pluit at Muara Karang, where local neighborhoods especially favor foods from the Orient (most inhabitants like my family are the Hokkien-speaking migrants from Medan in North Sumatra). For the appetizer, we normally order the classic ricepaper-wrapped shrimp roll, or gỏi cuốn in Vietnamese. Since the restaurant’s gaining more visitors, I’m not surprised they’re currently out of it. But don’t worry, this one is worth trying too. Another spin to a classic Vietnamese dish, the chả nem, or “(fried) spring roll”, is usually prepared as a wrap of minced pork, but we ordered chicken instead, and they tasted as delicious as a welcoming summer. Traditionally Vietnamese rolls are prepared with sliced carrots, jicama, and kohlrabi wrapped in salty golden-brown crisp with meat, then dipped into a sweet condiment (combination of fish sauce, lemon squeeze, vinegar, and perhaps some more sugar) to taste.
Phở bò (Noodle soup with beef): One thing I love about the pho is how little preparation it takes. It’s amazing how much natural ingredients the dish relies on to make for its signature flavor. Both chả nem (with pork) and phở are listed on the “50 most delicious foods in the world” on CNN. Pho’ House serves their rolls, quality of noodles, and its respective broths true to their original taste (comparable to the same dishes served at family-owned restaurant Turtle Tower, which won the #1 spot as The Best of CitySearch 2009 for Vietnamese Food in San Francisco). For someone who doesn’t normally enjoy eating meat, much less its flank and steak, I did not dare to try anything on this dish but the broth. Warm, hearty umami travels down my belly, then invigorated with the scents of lime juice, mint, basil, cilantro, onion cuts, bean sprouts, and chili peppers. It was a refreshing slurp (and burp).
Phở gà (Noodle soup with chicken): I love this dish. I squeezed in extra lemon juice and mixed in all the dressings into the broth. The result is a bowl of long and soft white rice noodles with fleshy but sweet chicken meat, bathed and spiced up in hot, fragrant soup. You can never stop at one spoonful – there’s a bittersweet quality to the whole combination, notably from their use of fresh produce and the wonderful textures they provide to the human teeth. From a delicate stalk of cilantro leaves to the chewy twigs of bean sprouts, the medley enriches the taste by adding a vibrant contrast to an already-fragrant broth. Simple, original, and yummy for sure. (Note: Of course I left out the internal organs, i.e. lungs and heart… but meat lovers will surely enjoy them).




Pho’ House Vietnamese Noodle Soup
Jl. Muara Karang Blok L9 Timur No. 5-6
Jakarta Utara 14450
(021) 660 2989







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