After reading Joe K's review of Vietnam Pho 168 which is a quick drive from my house, so when others were busy last Saturday, I grabbed a companion and we headed out to have a simple lunch at the little shopping strip next to the spot which used to hold Taste of Penang (another restaurant that was on my list but didnt survive long enough for me to try it out).
Midday on Saturday proved to still be relatively quiet, with less than half the restaurant filled. I did like the cute vibrant setup with the alternating orange and yellow chairs.
Being quickly seated by the efficient and friendly waitress, we were surprised to receive not one, but two sets of menus, one for Vietnam Pho 168 and one for HK Malaysia. Apparently the setup is akin to the one at Quan Thanh, whereby the two sister stores offer both fares at either restaurant, which made it quite convenient for customers to have their pick from a wider variety of choices.
Water and cutlery came quickly, sauces arrived shortly after.
My drink arrived before the food. That day I ordered a Vietnamese Iced White Coffee with less sugar. It was considerably darker than the other ones I've had before, so I assume they cut down on the condensed milk. The coffee was definitely less sweet, with a strong coffee taste that I appreciated. Unfortunately though, there was more ice than there was coffee, and despite the large cup, it was finished after a couple of mouthfuls.
My companion ordered the combination chow mein. Whilst the portion looked quite generous, this was largely attributed to the noodles having been deep fried to a crisp, although it was still quite an ample serve even after absorbing the delicious sauces. Comparatively, the toppings weren't as generous, and their ratio to noodles were slightly disappointing. My companion enjoyed the crispiness of the noodles, but told me that it didn't really stand out to him as anything particularly special.
I on the other hand, opted for a bowl of rare beef pho. For the price of $13, this is on the more expensive side of the price spectrum for pho, especially given the portion size wasn't particularly big. The beef and noodles were quite soft and tender. I would have preferred a little more beef though. The herbs on top were quite generous and gave it quite a bit of added flavour, which was definitely required, as the soup was definitely light and a little bland and lacked dimension. Overall it was a pretty average bowl, but given the convenience of how close it is to home, I can't rule out coming here again if I get really lazy.