We are Pho Hoa regulars. We eat at this Vietnamese restaurant as a family; my daughter goes there with her friends as well. The nice thing about Pho Hoa is that whichever branch you eat at, the food is the same. That’s saying a lot because franchising often means loss of quality control. I like the consistency because it takes away the hit-and-miss element of dining.
In all those times that we have enjoyed Vietnamese food at Pho Hoa, we never ordered dessert. As a rule, we have dessert in a place different from we have our meal. See, from experience, very few restaurants whose specialty consists of full meals offer equally good desserts.
While waiting for the screening time of Iron Man at Eastwood City recently, we decided to have a late lunch at Pho Hoa. Because it was drizzling, we didn’t bother going elsewhere for dessert. My husband and I shared a plate of mango crepe with ice cream, our daughter Sam had buko pandan, younger daughter Alex didn’t want any dessert because she was too full.
The mango crepe wasn’t bad. But it wasn’t that good either. The addition of mango syrup with a drizzle of chocolate was a great innovation but the texture of the crepe itself left much to be desired. Thing is, although crepe-like lumpia (spring roll) wrappers are basically a crepe (a crepe being a very thin and flat pancake), as far as I am concerned, there is still a difference between the crepe-like spring roll wrapper and dessert crepe. The texture of the crepe in the Pho Hoa dessert would have been more suitable for spring rolls rather than for dessert. Still and all, it was okay.
The buko pandan dessert, you really can forget about. I thought that the addition of corn kernels would make it more interesting but I was disappointed. I expected the green jelly to be pandan-flavored but it was unsweetened and unflavored. I figured that the pandan flavor would be in the creamy sauce but I was mistaken. Truth be told, I wondered why it was called buko pandan dessert when there was no trace of pandan in it. They might as well have called it buko, jelly and corn dessert — that would have been more accurate.
So, next time we have our meal at Pho Hoa in Eastwood City, even if its drizzling, we’ll walk the short distance to Dairy Queen or Jack’s Loft.