We all know that the Philippines has become noodle crazy, and I’m one of those people who loves slurping a big hot bowl of them. Now, Manila has one more option when craving those delicious noodle soups. P.H.A.T. Pho: A Vietnamese Kitchen is now open at the ground floor of Serendra in Bonifacio Global City. If you’re coming from Market! Market!, It will be on your left side when you enter the Serendra area.
Phat Pho (Phat for Pretty Hot and Tempting) is the creation of American Chef Jason Hyatt and was first opened in our very own Cebu City. It has quickly become a favorite among Cebuano food lovers. Its great taste meets modern style noodle shop sets it apart from other establishments. It has a casual and welcoming style, while treating everybody like a VIP. The interiors and furniture of Phat Pho reflect this modern and laid back style completely. Although the restaurant is small compared to its neighboring establishments, this doesn’t detract from the overall ambiance and experience.
Their menu is filled with Vietnamese classic flavors and ingredients are always fresh, tasty, and always of high quality. The flavor genius behind the Abaca Group of Cebu and Phat Pho is the one and the same, Chef Jason Hyatt. The Moment Group has joined forces with The Abaca Group to bring this concept to Manila. Abba Napa of the Moment Group personally loved this restaurant and simply had to bring it to Manila and make it a member of equally popular sister restaurants such as Cue Modern Barbecue, Burger Bar, and NamNam. I must say, I'm glad they had the foresight to bring over this restaurant to Manila.
One of the first dishes we ordered was the Rice Paper Rolls. Ever since I first had them a few years ago in Texas (of all places!) I was hooked. Phat Pho’s version come in three different variations, Slow Roasted Pork (P175), Chilled Shrimp (P195), and the Marinated Tofu (P165). Vietnamese food is known for using fresh ingredients with lots of herbs, and this dish had lots of it. I loved the freshness of the dish, and with every bite you just sort of felt healthier. Each roll is filled with vermicelli, wood ear mushrooms, carrots, daikon, peanuts, and lots of fresh herbs. I didn’t feel guilty at all munching on these rolls. Not only are they tasty, they are nutritious too.
We also couldn’t keep away from biting into the three varieties of satay they had to offer. Phat Pho offers the Angus Beef Satay (P210/3pcs, P345/5pcs), the Chicken Satay (P130/3pcs, P215/5pcs), and the Pork Belly Satay (P130/3pcs, P215/5pcs), all garnished with garlic and shallots. Each satay had a unique flavor and was made even tastier when combined with the provided sauces.
The Crispy Egg Rolls (P120/3pcs, 195/5pcs) was also a very enjoyable dish. It is filled with pork, shrimp, noodles, and wood ear mushrooms. Each roll was filled up to the brim and provided a full meaty bite. No space was left untouched, and it is well worth its price for its filling nature and taste.
But of course, the hero of the day was their noodle soup. It’s a pho place, so we had to try the Pho Special (P225/small, P395/large) and the Bun Bo Hue (P225/small, P395/large). The Pho Special is made with a special beef broth, shaved US Angus beef, braised beef, meatball, and tendon. It has a light broth taste and very flavorful herb combination. You can add some hoisin sauce to add more flavor.
The Bun Bo Hue on the other hand is made out of a spicy pork and beef based broth. It is filled with pork knuckle, braised beef, and tendon. It is a bit spicy, but not enough to detract from the overall enjoyment of slipping and slurping away. Even a flyweight should be able to take on the spiciness level of this noodle soup. You can add sauces to each soup and fresh garlic to suit your own taste.
Vietnam is known for its very fresh ingredients and uses of herbs. Phat Pho is no exception, as it brings the culture and flavor of Vietnam to Cebu and now, Manila. They have plenty more on the menu to explore, so if you’re craving Vietnamese food or something very fresh and flavorful for your palate, you might as well choose Phat Pho for you food destination.