Anne, John and I visited MoPho a while ago, right in the first week of its opening and yes… it’s taken me this long to write about it. Am I lazy? Am I a slacker? Perhaps, but I only seem to sacrifice my own blog when I’m feeling in the mood to do absolutely nothing.
MoPho is located on that weird corner of City Park Avenue, right behind the Burger King. When visiting MoPho, be warned that parking in the Burger King parking lot will indeed get you towed, so park wisely. But I am sure y’all have been there by now… at least you better have!
We sat outside because the restaurant was packed full even though it was a tad late in the lunch hour. It was a bit chilly, but we suffered on, determined to enjoy ourselves regardless of the weather. We started out with a couple of appetizers that arrived at the same time. The Crispy Chicken Wings with lemongrass and ginger were incredibly wonderful (and I really am not a fan of wings), the sauce they wallowed in at the bottom of the bowl was so good in fact, I wrote about it’s possible use as a body sauce in another article. We also had a plate of Crispy P&J Oysters with “Mopho mayo” that was equally fabulous, the oysters being rather plump and juicy. We gobbled them both down just in time for our entrees.
Anne and I both had pho. I got beef broth with duck, pork belly and mushroom. I don’t recall what Anne ordered exactly, but I am pretty sure she also chose the beef broth with pork belly. Two things disappointed me about the pho. First, there was barely any meat. I got one bite of duck, one of pork belly and the rest was mushroom. I suppose I could have loaded it up (double that belly!), but still…it made me sad. Second, the broth was lacking the beefy depth and richness I’ve experienced at my favorite Vietnamese spots and Anne agreed with me. BUT! You must keep in mind (and I did) that this was their first week of opening and it’s entirely possible that the chefs still hadn’t quite got the hang of making a great pho broth. Foodie friends of mine thought the pho was perfect, so I will have to return a few more times before my judgement of the pho is definitive.
John ordered a “sloppy” roast duck banh mi and although it was juicy and overflowing with fresh veggies, the quantity of meat was seriously lacking and it was in no way sloppy. Certainly not like a sloppy roast beef po-boy where you need to wash up afterwards. I’d be surprised if John used more than one napkin on the whole sandwich.
We finished out the meal with dessert, a condensed milk cake with condensed milk caramel served with Vietnamese coffee ice cream. Although it didn’t look very pretty, it was quite delectable, especially the ice cream. We also ordered a couple of hot Vietnamese coffees in the hopes of warming up.
All in all, though there were some disappointments, almost everything tasted quite good. Not to mention, while we were waiting for our table, we saw all kinds of dishes coming out for other diners that looked and smelled quite stunning, so we will definitely be back to try again.