I missed the motherland, so like any Vietnamese, I had a hankering for pho. Word has it that Shanghai has fail to do Vietnamese food justice. I remain optimistic.
About a ten minute walk from my place is the Kerry Centre, which houses business offices and a few restaurants on the lobby floor, as well as a Starbucks. I should have known to be wary of any place that offers two different types of ethnic cuisine, but isn't fusion. This restaurant was called Pho Asia as well as Thai Loft. Thai food and Vietnamese food, though close in geographical proximity, are nothing alike.
Needless to say, the pho, though presented quite well with great quality marbled beef, was extremely disappointing. For one thing, they used high quality marbled beef. Pho is a poor man's bowl! It uses the cheapest cuts of the cow, the leftovers of what ever is left over and unwanted (tripe, etc) and makes the most amazing aromatic cheap bowl of noodle you will ever have. It is basic and 'peasant' in its simplicity, the essence of its flavor is it the low quality of ingredients. It will never work if you try to make it upscale.
So whatever I had today, it was an imitation of pho. It was something that wanted to be pho, but failed miserably. They may have possibly created a new dish altogether. I'll call it faux-pho. Bad puns aside, I still left with a full belly, an unfinished egg-roll (awful) and filled up on fresh cucumber juice.
I topped it off with mango sticky rice and coconut pudding.
You can't go wrong with this one as long as you stick to the basic ingredients and it was the best part of my entire meal.
Pho Asia - 2 out of 5 stars for a pho dish that taste nothing like pho
Unit 105B, 1/F, Kerry Centre 1515 Nanjing Xi Lu