HAPPY NEW YEAR YA'LL!!
I know I've been MIA for a reeeeeeeallyyyyyy loooooonnnnnnggg time, but I was occupied swimming with dolphins down under (more on that later in my NZ posts). In fact, half of 2015 was spent in a country other than sunny 'ol Singapore...which probably explains the sporadic erratic blogging the past year. Hur Hur
Now that I'm back proper, and less jet-lagged (I think!), and have resolved to be more consistent in my blogging (a sidenote: this resolution will probably last longer than the lose-weight-and/or-get-fit one).
This was one of the highlights of 2015, notwithstanding the frighteningly surly and curt service. Long Phung, a Vietnamese joint along Joo Chiat (a short aside: the once-seedy strip has quickly become a Little Vietnam of sorts; the street is lined with a gazillion Vietnamese shops!) is renowned for serving up the best pho ever. And having had the best pho experience ever in Hanoi, I wanted to see for myself how this little eatery would stack up.
Because Joo Chiat's parking woes are legendary, we popped in for a quick off-timed lunch, when parking lots were aplenty and the eatery was only half-filled. Still, service at the cash-only establishment was typically Vietnamese; you accommodate them rather than the other way round. Despite my repeated instructions to hold off all parsley/coriander leaves/spring onions/cilantro on everything, only 1 dish was parsley/coriander leaf/spring onion/cilantro-free; my chicken pho arrived laced with spring onions. When informed to the waitress, she tersely informed that there was no instruction to hold off the said herbs in "all of the dishes", and because Vietnamese women scare me, I picked out every
last speck of spring onion on my own instead of sending it back for a redo.
Oh well, as I see it, Long Phung provides a most authentic experience of Vietnam. And it's not like they charge for service anyway, so there's that.
Scary service aside, Long Phung does indeed serve up the best pho in Singapore, and short of flying to Hanoi every other week to get my pho-fix, the little spot will have to do as a viable alternative.
The Cha Gio ($7), with 3 parts minced vegetables, 1 part minced pork, exactly the way it's done in Vietnam. Juicy and flavourful, this had a beautifully crisp rice paper skin.
Another great appetizer was the Ga Vien Chien ($10), succulent morsels of popcorn chicken, done the Vietnamese way.
The Bun Bo Hue ($7.50), a Hue-specialty of beef brisket hunks, pork leg sausage slices, in a heady deceptively fiery broth that balances the spicy with the salty and sweet, enlivened by a hint of lemongrass. An invigorating and robust dish.
The Pho Ga ($7) was pure wholesome goodness, with generous lashings of shredded chicken, and a deliciously delicate chicken stock. So good even if marred by spring onions.
The Bun Thit Nuong ($7.50) was a dry-styled noodles topped with the most lusciously grilled pork ever, redolent of lemongrass, and served with a fish sauce-based dip.
The Com Trang Bo Kho ($7) was a sumptuous French-influenced beef stew, with fork-tender brisket swimming in a mildly spicy gravy. Great for ladling over white rice.
You'd do well to order their drinks as well, a refreshingly zesty lime-based Da Chanh ($3.30), Vietnam's answer to a lemonade, and the Cafe Sua Da ($3.80), for a rich caffeine-shot just the way Vietnamese like it.
159 Joo Chiat Road
Tel: 6440 6959
Open daily from 1pm to 2am