Tar Pau Nation: What to order in

Covid-19 stay-home guide: Pho and cockles cooked just right

In this daily series, Senior Food Correspondent Wong Ah Yoke digs into delivery options and rates them for you

Wagyu pho (left) and cockles from Mrs Pho. ST PHOTOS: WONG AH YOKE

Vietnamese beef pho is a wonderful dish, but many eateries tend to overcook the meat.

That was my problem with Mrs Pho's version of the rice noodle soup when I ate it at the Beach Road outlet. Everything else was good but the beef was dry.

That was why I ordered the Wagyu Beef Pho ($17.50) instead of the regular Sliced Beef Pho ($10.90) for my home-delivered lunch.

The meat was better. It wasn't dry and there was a generous amount of it. Still, it wasn't the marbled cut I had imagined - though, to be fair, I should not have expected top-grade cuts for the price.

I wonder if I should have ordered the Special Beef Combo ($13.10) instead. Not only is that cheaper, but it also comes with beef balls and tripe to make up for the disappointing sliced beef.

Otherwise, the pho gets a thumbs up. The broth was light yet tasty and the kway teow - packed separately from the broth, along with the meat, beansprouts, sliced onions and spring onion - was cooked just right.

The food arrived hot, so I just had to add the noodles to the soup. You may need to heat up the broth in a microwave oven or on the stove before stirring in the other ingredients.

There was a separate pack of fresh mint leaves and two limes, plus dipping sauces. I prefer my pho without lime juice, though, and since the limes were not cut, I'm saving them. They will be great with canned sardines.

The Mrs Pho Cockles ($14.20) were an indulgence. I did not need more food and there was no minimum order required. But if you love cockles like I do, these stir-fried molluscs bring so much joy.

They too were cooked just right, being neither overdone nor dripping in blood. What made the dish even more irresistible was the lard, which added an aroma no other cooking oil could. There were bits of crispy lard in the spicy, garlicky sauce, too.

It is a mess eating the cockles, as you have to prise them open and the juice splatters on the table and your clothes. But hey, you're at home and nobody is judging.



    Go to mrspho.com. No minimum order required.


    $7. Free for orders of $60 or more.



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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 13, 2020, with the headline Tar Pau Nation: Pho and cockles cooked just right. Subscribe