At Brass Spoon, diners can take a seat at the communal marble table, pop on a disposable apron and dig into MSG-free pho with, you guessed it, a brass spoon. Tick your choice (or choices) of beef and opt for sides like steamed rice rolls ($55) on the ramen bar-style menu. The raw and cooked beef noodle pho ($88) comes with generous helpings of herbs and lime, as well as satisfyingly thick, custom-made noodles. Shop B, 1 Moon St, Wan Chai, 2877 0898; thebrassspoon.com.
Bun Cha Vietnamese
Nestled on the steep incline of Aberdeen Street, the mint green exterior of Bun Cha Vietnamese is lovingly decorated with plants, behind which lies a modest interior and attentive Vietnamese staff. The pho bo ($68) uses a light broth replete with thinly sliced medium rare sirloin and is spiked with a vibrant side of fresh herbs and lime. Don’t miss the cha nem ($88) – light and crispy fried spring rolls with pork, shrimp mint and basil served with lettuce to wrap. Shop 1, G/F, King Ho Bldg, Aberdeen St, Sheung Wan, 2858 1900;fb.com/bunchaworld.
Com Banh Mi
Despite the questionable pun-laden menu at Com Banh Mi, it’s a convenient spot for a quick and wallet friendly bite in Wan Chai. Serving up a range of pho, banh mi and com ga (all $55), what the narrow restaurant may lack in size it certainly compensates for in flavour. The pho packs a strong punch through its slow-cooked duck and chicken broth. There’s a choice of meats including shredded chicken, roasted duck or caramel-braised pork belly. 28 Tai Wong St E, Wan Chai, 2528 9131; fb.com/combanhmi.
From the team behind Naked Gurume Gyarari comes Le Pho. Wedged in a corner on the busy intersection of Lyndhurst Terrace and Hollywood Road, the menu boasts cute titles like the Godfather of Pho Combo ($88) and the Not So Typical Pho ($78). The broth here is dark and aromatic, owing to the sweet and liberal use of of cloves, star anise and cinnamon. Le Pho uses chewy Thai noodles and also serves a few sides, including tasty, meat-filled fried chopstick spring rolls ($35 for two). 58 Lyndhurst Tce, Central.
Pho Bar has a fully customisable menu allowing you to choose the herbs you want as well as other toppings like fried garlic. The medium rare filet mignon pho ($68) uses tender beef and comes with a dark, fragrant broth. Carb-conscious diners can swap regular noodles for the courgette variety for an extra $18. We also like the house fries with ‘secret seasoning’. With its fiery Cajun kick it’s an unusual accompaniment for pho but, against the odds, one that really works. 24 Li Yuen St W, Central.
The 36 Streets
The name of this restaurant pays homage to Hanoi’s old quarter, referred to locally as ‘36 old streets’ with an interior reminiscent of colonial Vietnam. The broth is cooked for more than 24 hours and the Old Street Assorted Pho ($78) is packed with shrimp, mushrooms and Vietnamese sausage. The pho comes in generous portions but if you’re still hungry, try the minced pork lemongrass skewers ($80) served with a special barbecue sauce. G/F, Sze Bo Bldg, 61 Hennessy Rd, Wan Chai, 2360 2111.