We’re off to Saigon Cafe and Garden Resto again and this time it’s for a bowl of piping hot Pho Bo or Vietnamese beef noodles. The weather even conspired with us. It rained hard in the afternoon so it’s a little cooler than the usual summer weather. Just perfect for a Pho Bo Friday.
This time, I was with the movers and shakers of the Negrense tourism industry, ATON tour guides Bambi, Artie and Maricar and ANTS founding member Darlene.
The rich aroma of beef stock greeted us when we arrived, just enough to whet our appetites and build up our anticipation for a bowl of Pho Bo. Good thing Darlene already reserved a table since two tables were already occupied when we arrived.
Sylvia immediately prepared in large bowls the rice noodles, beef slices, bean sprouts, onions and chives and poured the piping hot broth over the ingredients. Pho Bo is served with a plate of bean sprouts and different herbs such as cilantro, Thai basil, chives, and mint. There are also different condiments, sliced chilli and calamansi for added flavors.
I first tried the soup without the herbs and it’s already very flavorful. The soup stock has obviously been simmering for several hours so the flavors of the beef and spices are all there. I put a few slices of chili and a few leaves of herbs one at a time to try which one suits my taste. I tried the mint, Thai basil and cilantro in my Pho Bo. True enough, the flavor was enhanced with a slight sweetish and minty flavors and aroma.
I’m not so good with chopstick so I sipped the broth with a spoon and ate the noodles with chopsticks and slurping it in the process. Halfway into my bowl of Pho Bo, I already used a small pile of table napkin in wiping my sweat. I’m not sure if there’s a way to enjoy Pho Bo with your poise intact.
As Bambi said, we are “katawang babae, bitukang kargador” but we were not able to finish our bowl of Pho Bo (P135). The smaller bowl (P75) would have just been perfect for us. We overestimated our stomach and underestimated the serving size. We suggested to Sylvia to have smaller serving size and open that branch at the BS Aquino Drive soon.
While waiting for their more accessible branch, you can always come to their restaurant Prk. Marapara 1 Zone 2, Brgy. Bata, Bacolod City. It’s easy to locate, turn left on the first corner after the gate of the Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club (Marapara Golf and Country Club).
You may also call or text Saigon Cafe at telephone nos. 708-9036 or 09434923750 to reserve your seat. They’re only open from Wednesday to Friday and remember, every Friday is a “Pho Bo-sog” day at Saigon Cafe!
Here’s the location map of Saigon Cafe