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Tucked away in the basement of the SML Centre alongside a hundred other quick-eat and snack food outlets, Pho House serves up simple plates of wholesome Vietnamese staples.

Their bowls of pho (¥28 small, ¥35 large) are not going to blow anybody’s socks off but at this price they’re an honest offering of silken rice noodles in a tasty broth charged with slices of beef. This, amidst a sea of fried fast food and ice-cream, feels like a welcome departure from the surrounding shopper’s paradise.

Elsewhere on the large menu we are at the mercy of chance. Fried cha gio spring rolls (¥20) and barbecue shrimp with sugar cane (¥48) are both all present in constitution but lacking in flavor. A papaya shrimp salad (¥26) is much tastier, combining the clean and crisp flavors of carrot, spring onion, cucumber and papaya with fresh coriander and mint tossed in a light fish sauce. For more punch, a fiery bowl of pork in soup noodles (bun bo hue, ¥34) has enough heat to satiate any spice-lover’s palate.

The result is a feeling of modest satisfaction. When Tianzifang feels too far away or the wallet has taken a beating, wander round in circles down on SML’s B2 level and hit Pho House.

  • Pho House
  • 021 6152-1187

  • Rm. B-19, B2/F, SML Plaza, 618 Xujiahui Lu [map]

  • Vietnamese
  • ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
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