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Last night I had a dinner meeting and for once was a wee bit stumped on where to eat. I had a couple places in mind but one was fully booked and two other options had prior events happening, so I was at a bit of a loss. I’d heard good things about the new San Francisco style Pho joint, so I just thought pho-k it and we went for a bowl of hot soupy noodles.

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The interior is pretty simple inside, long benches and tables with a few cute design elements on the walls. But lets face it you are there for the delicious food and not the ambiance. Some of the best restaurants I ate in when I was in Vietnam were filthy, they had food and cigarette butts all over the floor, but they were packed to bursting point, and my god was the food good!

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The menu is of a decent size, a few varieties of pho, some fried appetizers, and rice and noodles dishes. I don’t like to miss out when it comes to appetizers so we got the Appetizer sampler (10,000), which had fried spring rolls, shrimp rolls, and fresh rolls.

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The fried appetizers were fine but a bit lackluster if I’m being honest. The fresh rice rolls were stuffed with rice noodles and salad and were just a bit on the bland side. The fried shrimp too were a bit underwhelming. Anything deep fried is delicious in my book, but the shrimp were pretty small. I know they aren’t the cheapest of ingredients but they could do better than this. The meat stuffed rolls were by far the favorite and the dipping sauces were damn good, especially the peanut one. The second dip was the traditional fish sauce based one I’ve made a couple of times in cooking classes, and the third just sweet chili. The platter is not bad value considering it was only 10,000, but I’d probably just stick with an order of the fried spring rolls next time.

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The main event was the pho. We ordered the Pho Combination 1(12,000) which was stuffed with well-done brisket, rare deckle, tendon and meatballs. The broth of this pho was spot on, tonnes of flavour, while still being very clean. It got even better once we had squeezed in the hoi sin sauce and fresh lime. The meat balls, while a decent size, were completely tasteless, but I guess that’s what happens with boiled meat. The slivers of the brisket were fine although I’m not sure if I came across any of the rare deckle. Aside from the meatballs I was pretty impressed with this pho. The broth was one of the best I’ve had and it was easily large enough for us to share between two of us, having already eaten the extra appetizers.

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On the whole I think I rather enjoyed my taste of San Francisco Pho. The broth alone is worth coming back for, though I think I’d try the plain brisket next time and I’d also like to have a go at their fried noodle and rice dishes.

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Pho For You is located at 246-1, Noksapyeong daero, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Noksapyeong Station (line 6) and come out of exit 2. Walk straight, and keep going until you reach the overpass bridge, walk over, take the stairs down, and make a u-turn. You will see Pho For You just in front of you, it’s pretty much under the overpass. For more information you can call them on 02-749-8947 or check out their facebook page. They’re open everyday from 10:30 -22.30.

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