There's a terrible dearth of authentic Vietnamese restaurants in Singapore. Take, for example, So Pho, the new-ish Vietnamese eatery tucked away at the far corner of the Paragon food basement. The casual Vietnamese eatery sprouted up in Da Paolo Gastronomia's old locale after the latter took over the now-defunct Canele's premises. The extensive, affordably-priced menu had seemed full of promise, but eventually turned out clunky and insipid fare.
The Mien Xao Bo ($9.80) stir-fried glass noodles littered with rubbery sesame-d beef, kailan, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, and eggs, barely scraped the passing grade. Still, it was the best of the lot, so you can just imagine how lackluster the rest of the dishes were.
The Ga Nuong Sa ($9.80 for half portion), a lemongrass-infused spring chicken was grilled too dry.
The Cha Gio Chien ($4.80), fried spring rolls were nice in a first-year-home-economics-cooking-class-in-an-all-boys'-school way.
The biggest disappointment was the Cha Ca La Vong ($10.80), the Hanoi staple of fish fillet flavoured with lemongrass and dill served on a hotplate that we'd fallen in love with during our Hanoi sojourn. This was miserly, overdone, and tasted nothing like what we actually had. I didn't understand the need for the side of fresh rice vermicelli, there wasn't any rice paper or fresh greens and herbs to roll it with anyway.
290 Orchard Road
Tel: 6235 0414
Open daily from 11am to 10pm