Last Updated: March 21, 2018
Don’t worry, I won’t annoy you with the usual pho puns in this article, so read ahead.
Perhaps I’m not resourceful enough, but for a really long time, I’ve been searching for a place that serves good, authentic pho at affordable prices.
At long last, I think I’ve found my go-to spot for pho. Located in Midpoint Orchard, Signs A Taste Of Vietnam Pho is a small, cosy eatery owned by a deaf Vietnamese couple, Anthony and Angela.
Entering the place, I was greeted by a friendly ‘Hello‘, and a warm smile, which made me feel right at home.
As it is a small eatery that specialises in pho, don’t expect to find a huge variety on the menu. But trust me, this isn’t an issue especially since the food served is excellent. I went ahead and ordered the Handi Chicken ($5) (chicken pho) first.
When my bowl arrived, I was greeted by the sight of a sea of chicken meat – the serving was quite magnificent. Interestingly, the pho is also served with chicken rice chilli, which Anthony excitedly gestured to be used as a dip for the chicken.
As the broth was very clear, I was under the impression that it would be overly light, and perhaps a little plain. But it was neither of the two. I was thoroughly impressed by its robust flavour.
Instead, the sweetness of the chicken permeated the broth, making it flavourful, but still retaining a pleasant lightness.
The shredded chicken slices were incredibly tender and juicy. Unsurprisingly, they went very well with the chicken rice chilli that was given.
The gingery heat and slight tartness of the chilli complemented the sweetness of the chicken. I was just elated that there was so much of it to enjoy.
As for the pho itself, it was so smooth and silky that the noodles seemed to almost glide down my throat. The individual strands of pho did not stick together at all, as low-quality pho tends to. This made the dish all the more enjoyable, and I was extremely content.
Of course, it would be a travesty to visit a pho stall without eating any of their beef pho. So I had the Beef Feast Combo ($8), which comes with sliced beef ribeye, sliced beef shin and beef balls.
Each of these individual beef components is also available as a standalone protein for the pho.
Much like the Handi Chicken, there was a very generous serving of beef. The beef ribeye and beef shin were very thinly sliced, which made it extremely easy to chew and swallow.
Thin slices sometimes run the risk of being overcooked and thus becoming dry or tough. These beef slices, however, were cooked to perfection and remained tender.
The beef balls were also delicious. They were firm and springy, and certainly carried a prominent beefy flavour – they certainly weren’t the type of beef balls with more flour than beef.
As a beef lover, was a true delight as the umami of the beef was very concentrated, making each bite an explosion of flavour.
Yet, as much as I loved the beef, nothing in that bowl of pho could beat the beef broth. This was on a whole different level from that of the chicken broth.
Where the chicken broth was sweet and light, this broth was rich and deep with an umami flavour that kept me wanting more.
It wasn’t just a beef flavour that I detected, as that can sometimes be too gamy – there were also hints of garlic and onion, which added a sweetness to the broth.
This made the broth very well-balanced and palatable. A dab of chilli and hoi sin sauce will add a nice kick. Overall, the Beef Feast Combo was certainly an excellent dish that hit all the right spots!
To complete the Vietnamese experience, I also ordered Fresh Rolls with Prawns, Pork & Egg ($5). These were as much a treat for the eyes as for the stomach.
Bright orange prawns peeking through a translucent skin, green, leafy vegetables and pastel yellow eggs; these were absolutely beautiful to look at.
The spring rolls are served with a peanut sauce, that you can choose to boldly dip your rolls in, or gently drizzle over your rolls.
If I were to describe the spring roll with one word, it would be fresh. Eating the roll by itself, I could really taste how fresh each and every ingredient was, making it a truly enjoyable experience.
The prawns were nicely firm, the pork well-seasoned, the vegetables fresh and crisp, and the eggs soft. Truly a medley of ingredients!
However, the filling can taste a little plain on its own, so I would highly recommend eating it with the peanut sauce. The sauce, with a nutty flavour and a sweet fragrance, complemented the spring roll very well.
It’s quite rare that you visit a place, and every dish that you order is executed perfectly. Yet, this is exactly the type of service I received at Signs A Taste Of Vietnam Pho. For such a small eatery selling food at such affordable prices, it truly is an impressive feat.
Watching Anthony and Angela serve their customers with such bright smiles and friendly dispositions, I certainly was infected by their genuine joy. It was incredibly inspiring for me to see them do what they love, in spite of their impairments.
Well, I know where I’ll be visiting the next time I’m craving a bowl of pho that could really warm my body and soul!
Expected damage: $5 – $8 per pax