Aug 26 2012
If you’re looking for good-value, tasty Vietnamese food but the street scene leaves you a bit nervous, air-con Com Pho Co is worth seeking out with its great range of standard Vietnamese dishes, such as light and crispy nem Hue, crunchy papaya salad or heartier aubergine and pork claypot. Although located on non-touristy Nguyen Sieu, Com Pho Co is still central for Old Quarter.
Inside is split into three sections: an inside area at the front, a courtyard and a rear area by the kitchens. The main benefit of the front area is that it’s cool: air-con and fans work hard to keep the temperature down, which will be very welcome if you’re taking a break from a stroll around Old Quarter. The courtyard’s a prettier and more interesting place to sit — you can occupy your time wondering why they chose vintage bikes to decorate the place — and is also fan-cooled, but don’t venture into the rear area unless you need to visit the rest rooms, as it’s soulless. Overall the place feels light, airy and clean.
The restaurant describes itself as “Old Quarter Vietnamese cuisine“, and refreshingly, that’s what you’ll get: they’ve made no attempt to be all things to all people by introducing Western dishes. The menu is still quite extensive however and includes fresh and fried spring rolls, salads (for those lacking in essential vitamins), rice, noodles, tofu, fish and seafood, meat and vegetables. Everything we’ve tried has been well-cooked, tasty and a good portion size.
Staff wear branded company T-shirts and are friendly and efficient. Some speak English, and will probably greet you on arrival, but pointing at the menu items you want works pretty well anyway — and you can always try out your Vietnamese.
Prices are very reasonable and on a par with similar Old Quarter places such as Ladybird. Spring rolls, salads, noodles, rice and vegetable dishes range from about 30,000 to 50,000 VND and meat dishes start at 65,000 VND for pork and go up to 115,000 VND for duck and seafood. Set menus start at 119,000 VND for soup, spring rolls, a main with rice and dessert.
For the comfort, service and quality of food, Com Pho Co is really good value and will suit anyone looking for a Vietnamese food pit stop. Tables in the main dining area seat eight, so it’s good for a group or people who like their space, and the courtyard area is a relaxing spot where you’ll be tempted to extend your visit with coffee and a caramel dessert.
Com Pho Co
16 Nguyen Sieu, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
T: (04) 2216 4028
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