Authentic Vietnamese fare at Chef Minh Vietnamese Pho in Bukit Batok
The first dish that comes to mind whenever I have a craving for Vietnamese food? It has to be pho.
Rich, flavourful broth with silky rice noodles and a plethora of meaty bites – when cooked well, pho is such a delight to the senses. It’s not always the easiest to get a hearty, authentic bowl of pho in Singapore, though.
Which is why I was glad to discover that Chef Minh Vietnamese Pho popped up in Bukit Batok as a hawker stall. Located at Blk 279 along Bukit Batok East Avenue 3 in a coffeeshop, it’s a welcome addition to the neighbourhood.
The broth here may not be what we’re immediately familiar with, as Chef Minh offers a punchier, richer broth with Ho Chi Minh City flavours – it’s after all where he grew up.
Despite growing up in Vietnam and learning the craft from his Vietnamese grandmother, Chef Minh actually is conversant in Cantonese, and speaks a little Mandarin – which probably helped in his culinary career in Macau.
So, what’s actually in a Ho Chi Minh pho broth? For one, it’s darker-hued and richer in flavour. He uses cardamom, star anise, cloves and cinnamon sticks in the bone broth – chicken, pork and beef bones boiled for six hours make up the broth base.
Let’s dive right into the food.
I opted for the Signature Pho Combo ($6.50) so I could try a little of everything. This comes with silky rice noodles, and an assortment of beef tripe, beef shank, beef tendon, beef slices and a beef ball shaped by hand.
First, a spoonful of soup – the moment I took a sip, I knew I was going to finish the entire bowl. Hints of sweetness shone through the rich bone broth, without getting too cloying or overwhelming.
The other key component of a good bowl of pho is the noodles. Springy and chewy, these certainly passed the test.
Looking at the beef assortment, I hardly knew where to start. The beef ball managed to stand out even from the robust broth, with a firm bite and lots of flavour.
I liked the tripe and tendon as well, simply because I could never pass up an opportunity to snack on offals.
For those who want a snack to go with your pho, try the Summer Rolls ($4 for 2). These come with hoisin sauce, chilli and roasted peanut dip, so take your pick.
Wrapped with thin rice paper, the rolls contain fresh prawn, pork belly, rice vermicelli, thinly-sliced lettuce and carrots. I found it fresh and a good palate cleanser after the hearty broth.
If you’re staying in the area, pop by for a hearty meal of authentic Vietnamese fare.
Chef Minh Vietnamese Pho
Blk 279 Bukit Batok East Avenue 3, Mei De Coffeeshop, Singapore 650279
10am – 9pm daily