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“A Decent Vietnamese Restaurant that is well worth a visit”
Review of Pho Bac - CLOSED

Pho Bac
Cuisines: Vietnamese
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed April 21, 2013

I've never been to Vietnam, so I'm not an ultimate arbiter of "authenticity" but I've eaten a lot of Vietnamese food in some of the largest Vietnamese communities outside of Asia (London (Hackney), Paris, San Francisco and San Jose, CA) and I have to say that this restaurant would stand perfectly acceptable in any of these cities, which is quite amazing given the lack of competition. They do banh xeo (the seafood crepe) and it was pretty good - really tasty and done properly. I am eager to return to this place and get more familiar with the menu because it is one worth exploring. The standard was generally high, I had a qualm with one of the dishes we got which was OK, but had been compromised to local tastes with a gloopy cornflour sauce (the sort British people like in their Chinese takeaway food), but if you pick and choose and try and go for the more unusual offerings, they are less likely to adapt these to local tastes (for the better) and you'll get a really tasty, "authentic" and relatively inexpensive meal. We went on a weekday night and the place was empty - undeservedly so in my opinion, but we did arrive after 10pm. They didn't roll their eyes at our late arrival or tell us to hurry up or anything like that, they were happy for our custom, were charming and made food that, in the main, was really tasty and characteristic of Vietnamese food.

Thank metalbucket
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (34)
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9 - 13 of 34 reviews

Reviewed April 1, 2013

I visited this restaurant on Good Friday as we were visiting Cardiff for the Easter break. Having read the reviews I was looking forward to trying Vietnamese food for the first time. Finding the restaurant was a little tricky as they have now changed the name to The Vietnam from Pho Bac but there was nothing online or outside the restaurant to suggest the same. We decided to have a look at the menu outside the restaurant and this is also different to the online menu for Pho Bac, I was undecided whether to go in as the restaurant was empty and it was around 2:30pm on a Friday so did not have high hopes for the food, but before we had a chance to turn around and leave the waiter had come outside to give us a menu, I asked if this was previously Pho Bac he confirmed yes but they have a new chef. So we went in reluctantly. My partner and I both ordered the set lunch special which was a starter, main and soft drink for £7.50 each. I had the vegetarian summer rolls and spicy beef vermicelli and my partner had the vegetarian spring rolls and special fried rice. At this point I was still not convinced as I thought if the food was any good why was the restaurant empty? How wrong was I? The food came quickly everything was so fresh, hot and beautifully presented and more importantly absolutely delicious! My partners spring rolls were hot fresh and crispy the summer rolls were delicately wrapped rolls of fresh herbs, nuts and noodles with a tasty dipping sauce. My noodle soup broth was so fragrant and tasty with plenty of beef slices and definitely did not come from stock powder my partners fried rice was perfectly done. I would highly recommend this little hidden gem and hopefully more people will go and try it out as it would be a shame if this place ever closed down! Shame they do not have anything like this in Birmingham where I live as I would be going every weekend I'm sure!

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Thank MoustacheMei
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2013

The name of this restaurant has changed to THE VIETNAM . Not too sure why but there has been a change of chef. Saying that though, the food was sublime. I had lunch with my sister, plenty of dishes to choose from, substantial portions and at £7.50 a head it was a steal that included a free soft drink however we opted for wine! Back to the food very flavoursome,clean tasting. No Chinese style gloopiness. The delicate seasoning was superb. Cannot fault the food we ate in any way. The staff were very friendly and helpful. It was a pity there were so few other diners that lunchtime only one other couple. I will be making this restaurant a regular place to eat. I have yet to go there in the evening but if the standard of food produced at lunchtime is a reflection of the what is on the full menu I can't wait for an evening visit.

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Thank Girlsontour61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2013

I enjoy the food when they are open but they are closed far too often for family events. The last three times I went they were closed for family events. It is very disappointing when you are looking forward to a meal and they constantly are closed. You would think they did not want your business,

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2  Thank llhit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2013 via mobile

My partner and I went there Jan 2013 on the basis of Tripfinder reviews and that it was the only Vietnamese restaurant in Cardiff. The reviews were right decor basic and food very good to excellent The seabass is especially delicious.wonderfully fried in delicate seasoning and a refreshing dip on the side. The presentation was also very good. My partner had a duck dish which was also very nice. She wasn't that keen on the starter of summer rolls as they were a cold dish and wrap was a bit chewy However this was a personal thing there was nothing wrong with cooking or quality.My ribs were fine. The basic/simple decor in many ways was a plus as it had it's own charm. However I would recommend some blinds or curtains as a big glass window directly to street offers no privacy. I did feel for the couple sitting in the window struggling with a noodle soup When I say struggling I don't mean the flavours but actually getting the noodles in the mouth

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1  Thank Nozzler64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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