The Asian Sensation: Pho Yong

Pho Yong

I know the Vietnamese can make some great pho, but damn can Cambodians do it too.

I’m in Siem Reap right now for an internship with a group of three others for five-weeks, and the overall food experience has been phenomenal. We were first introduced to this little gem, right by the Angkor National Museum, on the way back from a village we visited in the morning with the director of the NGO we’re working with.  He spoke very highly of the pho and passion fruit shake at the restaurant, so we came in with high expectations.

Best passion fruit shake I've had on this side of the world.

Best passion fruit shake I’ve had on this side of the world.

Let me just begin by saying that the experience exceeded any of those expectations. I’ve been to quite a number of pho places along the Mid-Atlantic coast in the States so I definitely have something to compare to. Not only was the big bowl of noodle soup brought out quickly, but the variety of condiments and garnishes provided was mouth-dropping. Aside from the ordinary hoisin sauce, chili sauce, bean sprouts , basil, lime, onions, and hot peppers, there was also a container of Kampot black pepper, a can of fermented chili peppers, long coriander, and some herbs I had never seen before. The soup lacked the cilantro that is typical of pho in America, but the extras more than made up for the difference.

Where do I begin?

Where do I begin?

I usually load up my soup with a hefty amount of hoisin because most of the broth I’ve had in the US of A has been rather plain, but at Pho Yong, it was perfect. Not too oily, MSG-free, and rich enough to be delicious on its own. As a matter of fact, one of the girls with me opted to not add hoisin to her soup because she felt it tasted better without it. The meat portions were also generous, with good amounts of flank, fatty brisket, and Vietnamese meatballs.  My only qualm about the place was the noodles they used. I generally prefer thinner rice noodles and the ones that accompanied the soup here were rather thick.

 

At only three dollars a bowl, it doesn’t get any cheaper this. The value from the place is amazing, but most of all, the pho is amazing.

 

Final rating: 9/10

2 thoughts on “The Asian Sensation: Pho Yong

  1. man I want some of those pho so badly. (more pics plz)
    Anyways, the Mandarin translation for pho under the name of the shop makes me wander if the owner is Chinese or if there’s a Chinese population nearby? Did you get a chance to ask?
    Also do you have any info about where the recipe is origined?

    • There’s actually a pretty large Chinese population here in Cambodia. A lot of the locals here are actually half-Chinese, which can be seen from their lighter skin tone.

      I’m not sure where they get their recipe from, but it seems to more resemble the southern Vietnamese pho archetype. I’ll be sure to ask next time I’m around.

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