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A Taste of Vietnam in Nepal!

Pho99 brings the flavours of Vietnam to Nepal.


Nepalnews
2021 Mar 18, 7:20, Kathmandu
Pho99 at Jhamshikhel Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana

The family run business, Pho99, a Vietnamese restaurant, has been serving food since 2011. Talking to the owner, Naveen Saru, he said, “When we started I had no idea how the business was going to run. Me and my wife, Uy Xiebao, who runs the restaurant with me came back to Nepal at the end of 2010. Since we were really big foodies we visited a lot of places. So coming back to Nepal, I felt like there was a lack of restaurants serving different cuisines. Then came the idea of opening a restaurant to offer food we love so much!”

Naveen Saru, Owner of Pho99.
Photo:
Naveen Saru, Owner of Pho99. Photo:

Till date they have expanded to Lazimpat, Jhamsikhel and within the premises of Boudhanath Stupa. Sadly, during the pandemic they had to close down their branch in Pokhara because of the lockdown and the uncertainty of when it was going to be lifted.

I visited their branch in Jhamsikhel and the minute one enters the restaurant you are in for a pleasant surprise. With all the greenery it feels like you are in a cosy garden.


Pho99 at Jhamshikhel
Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana
Pho99 at Jhamshikhel Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana

Pho99 has different seating arrangements. You can lounge outside if you want to or stay inside if you are looking for a quiet place to talk.

Saru went on to explain, “The ambience of the place is focused on making the customers feel warm and cosy. And it is so quiet that we have had many meetings here as well.”


Pho99 at Jhamshikhel
Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana
Pho99 at Jhamshikhel Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana
Pho99 at Jhamshikhel
Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana
Pho99 at Jhamshikhel Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana
Pho99 at Jhamshikhel
Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana
Pho99 at Jhamshikhel Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana

The menu offers a variety from soups to barbecue options with in-house sauces.

But when asked what was their most popular dish, he talked about Pho, a ‘rice noodle soup’ which can be served as an appetizer or even as a main dish. Even though they do not use oil while preparing the dish, it is filled with flavours.


Pho99 at Jhamshikhel
Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana
Pho99 at Jhamshikhel Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana
Chef Dorje Lama
Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana
Chef Dorje Lama Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana

Chef Dorje Lama who has been working at Pho99 for almost 10 years, said, “Pho is made with a base of rice noodles, adding lemon grass, ginger, garlic and onions. We also add star spice specially brought from Vietnam. Once it is done we add pieces of beef, spring garlic and coriander.”

If you ask me, Pho is a dish best served in winter with its warm soup and its variant flavours that make you feel cosy inside.

And if you are looking for something to have in the summer, they also serve a roll made with rice paper.

‘Summer roll’ is made with rice paper wrapped around freshly cut vegetables like carrot, cucumber and lettuce and shrimp and is accompanied with a dipping sauce made of peanut butter with soy sauce, and fish sauce with a hint of vinegar and garlic.


Pho, a ‘rice noodle soup’.
Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana
Pho, a ‘rice noodle soup’. Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana
Summer roll made out of rice paper with fresh vegetables.
Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana
Summer roll made out of rice paper with fresh vegetables. Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana

They also serve cold noodles!

 Xiebao explains, “It is made of rice noodles imported from Vietnam with barbecued pork and shrimp. We add spring rolls in the dish which has rice noodles and mushroom inside which is fried later on. We also add green papaya pickle and green vegetables along with peanut and green onion paste. Then we serve it with Vietnamese fish sauce on the side.”



Col noodles served with barbecued pork!
Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana
Col noodles served with barbecued pork! Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana

 And if you are looking to experiment but not get too much out of your comfort zone, you can definitely try food here.

Pho99 Jhamsikhel is a quiet place with good food and ambience!

Pho99 at Jhamshikhel
Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana
Pho99 at Jhamshikhel Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana
Pho99 at Jhamshikhel
Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana
Pho99 at Jhamshikhel Photo: Sarbesh Dhungana

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