Vietnam is a country that’s filled with gastronomic surprises, which comes as no surprise that it’s on the bucket list of gourmands around the world. Of its many iconic foods, one remains the most recognisable, and has become an entryway to the world of Vietnamese cuisine: Pho. It’s a dish that might look unassuming, but as many subpar bowls might have already told you, it’s one that’s extremely hard to get right. Well, these establishments in KL have become known for serving the best bowls of the piping hot pho.
Suitable for all meals of the day, pho (pronounced ‘fer’) is a Vietnamese soup dish consisting of broth, rice noodles, herbs, and meat. It’s just as popular a dish in Vietnam as it is the rest of the world, and can be found everywhere, from households and street-stalls, to the fanciest restaurants. Sources differ, but it’s said that it originated in the early 20th century in Northern Vietnam by residents of the city of Nam Định, before refugees popularised it throughout the world after the Vietnam War. But regardless of its origins, we can all agree that pho is one of the best exports of the country.
Indeed, there is a certain allure in squeezing the wedge of lime into a steaming bowl and then taking the first spoonful of the clear broth. Every sip brings an echo of spice that’s perked up by the tangle of fresh herbs. Some food historians claim that the name “pho” was derived from the French “pot-au-feu” — a beef stew. Others yet believe it is derived from olden day Cantonese-speaking hawkers selling meat and noodle dishes and calling out “yuhk fán!” into the streets. Styles of the dish differ by region too; the Hanoi (northern) and Saigon (southern) versions sport different noodle widths, sweetness of broth, and choice of herbs and sauce.
Either way, a good bowl of pho isn’t just about the broth and the thickness of rice vermicelli, or the quality of beef; it’s a sum of its parts that comes together in glorious harmony, and these Vietnamese restaurants in Kuala Lumpur know that best. Here’s where you can get the best pho in KL now.
6 places for the best pho in KL today:
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Experience authentic casual Vietnamese dining here at An Viet. You’ll be able to have steaming hot pho here while contributing to the environment as the establishment promotes zero food wastage by allowing diners to choose their portions, and then top it up at no extra charge if the initial portion is finished.
An Viet is available at The Gardens Mall, Sunway Pyramid and Gurney Plaza.
(Image credit: @maison_hals/Instagram)
Super Saigon serves Melbourne-style Vietnamese cuisine here in Kuala Lumpur, using recipes inspired by popular Vietnamese eateries in Melbourne and Ho Chi Minh. Staying true to its style, Australian beef is used for its beef slices, beef brisket, beef tendon, beef balls and beef tripe, which can be enjoyed together in the Special Combination Beef Pho. At only RM27.90 (approx. SGD 8), this signature bowl of steamy food, tender beef, and silky rice noodles will whet any appetite – little wonder it’s regarded as one of the best bowls of pho in KL.
(Image credit: @lovetoeat.my/Instagram)
Like any true Vietnamese cuisine, the pho here is served hot with authentic flavours that are enhanced by fresh ingredients. Having just opened in 2016, the eatery has already expended to across the Klang Valley. You can choose to have Pho but their Bánh Mì or Bánh Cuốn are also worth a try.
Pho Vietz is available at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Mid Valley Megamall, Empire Shopping Gallery, Sri Petaling, Atria, and 1 Utama.
(Image credit: Pho Vietz/Facebook)
This may be an Indochinese restaurant, but their pho still has the authentic flavours of a true Vietnamese dish. They incorporate multiple techniques and flavours, mainly Vietnamese and Thai in their dishes. But there is also the French Ox Tail Pot — one of their highly recommended dishes with a French influence in it.
This Michelin Bib Gourmand entry has become well-loved amongst locals for good reason. Beyond the cool dining experience that is the bright yellow colonial-style house and a colourful dining space, Sao Nam checks knows how to make eating a Vietnamese meal a fun and delicious affair. The famous pho bò (rice noodle soup with sliced beef) is one of the best in KL, with a flavourful broth that reportedly takes more than ten hours to make. Add the mangosteen and prawn salad to your meal for its delicate blend of umami, sourness, sweetness and contrasting textures.
(Image credit: @sonyatummyrubs/Instagram)
You’ve got to be pretty confident in your pho to name your restaurant ‘Gold Standard Pho’, and thankfully this KL establishement delivers with some of the best bowls in the city. Available in three types of broth – beef, chicken and vegetable – the noodles here are the equivalent of a warm hug, with flavours punching through from every corner. Only Australian beef is used here, including the beef balls, which are homemade. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the Peanut Chili Broth Pho, which sees a noodle soup made from beef bones, onions, lots of aromatic spices topped with a delicious peanut chili sauce.
(Image credit: @goldstandardpho/Instagram)
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This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Singapore