Munch Big Time Classic Vietnamese Flavors From the Phat Pho Kitchen

Do you need a mouthwatering break from the usual? Ditch the same-old-taste local dishes this weekend and try scavenging the menu of the Phat Pho Vietnamese restaurant. No need to go to a fancy restaurant, just change a bit of your setting by changing a bit of your culinary goals. Girl, go for the Vietnamese cuisine this weekend!


If you are getting bored of the same old taste from the local fast foods, give your palate a break and warm up with the incredibly hot soup that can wake a boring and bland taste into something fab and different. This restaurant can make everything look and sound delicious for your taste buds.



Reinvent the old version of eating out to local fast foods, and stop driving yourself to the brink of an insanely the same routine to boredom. You can use some sense of lifestyle with a few of my restaurant food trip hacks. You are now in a heated competition with your own self, how do you get rid of the melancholic state of boredom?


Keep tearing up the city’s restaurants and find first rate establishments. Figure out what it takes to stay on top of your life. I understand the feeling. I have been there. It got me transformed into a selfie crazy solo Pinay traveler.



There was a time that I don’t go out anymore, because where I go to and what I eat there were just the same each time I go out and it has been quite a, ugh you know what already! I need a cruel, bit expensive change of my social freedom. I went to Ayala with my daughter and we happened to pass by the Phat Pho Vietnamese Restaurant.


We sort of look at the sample menu plastered outside the resto, decided to sched the comeback, and then went straight to the J.Co for my photoshoot. Unfortunately, J.Co got a long queue, so we decided to give Phat Pho a short taste test.


Inside, you get the whole range of human emotions about people wanting to have a not so crowded, yet elegantly clean ambience that can give you a minute of blissful eating, while sipping a heaven made soup.



Most of the restaurant patrons were Chinese, Americans, Koreans, few Filipinos, and mostly foreigners. Based on my quick evaluation, these people not only love the food, but also love the quick and very tactful staff service. I just love their smiles when they patiently attend to people and often times explain more about the menu. Should I say, well-mannered and well trained?


On the simplest level, one of the main reasons I wrote about this Vietnamese restaurant, is because I had a nice experience eating a great sample of the Vietnamese menu when I visited my aunt in Brisbane, Australia years ago. I did not forget how good their noodle soups were that I tried to find a Vietnamese restaurant when I got back here in Cebu.


At last I found one, after years of wishing one day I can eat the same well-cooked meal. The future of the Philippine dining lies in the hands of these creative entrepreneurs. Phat Pho is one of the well-maintained partner establishments of the Abaca Group.


This irresistible noodle shop is being personally visited and taken care of by the Abaca Director himself. Glenn has been very helpful in sending me the right staff who can answer my questions about the food and the condiments, so I can complete this blog post with the best information about their menu. Also, he was kind enough to make an appearance when I came back there today July 9 2017 for another bout of taste test.


Photos taken July 9 2017 at Phat Pho Vietnamese Restaurant, Ayala, The Terraces, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines


To better visualize how the Philippine market is going to shop and pick food flavors later, just imagine the food court of the local malls here that offer different types of cuisine. The locals now are going after international cuisines and it has been changing the landscape of food establishments especially here in Cebu.


The selection of international cuisine practically changed how people dine out nowadays. When you are feeling noodle hungry and you want a different taste apart from the usual, you can savor the broth, sauces, and toppings beautifully crafted Vietnamese dishes at the Phat Pho restaurant.


One good thing about Phat Pho is their innovative ability to delight the customers that folks addicted to their delicious pho and list of dishes have been visiting and crowding the restaurant during lunch and dinner. After my second visit, I can tell this restaurant is going to expand soon.


We are all aware that a boredom of the usual can insanely drive you to an overwhelming search for good taste. Disguised as a modern street style noodle shop with a casual counter style quick service in a fast paced, hip environment, the Phat Pho Vietnamese Restaurant boasts a menu of classic flavors taken from the home kitchen of moms in Vietnam.


Everything on the menu is made with the finest authentic ingredients in Vietnam. You may need time to develop the relationship with food, but because they were cooked exquisitely healthy, that time may be done in a few seconds. That is right, because I had it in 2 seconds after my first big slurp with the Pho Special, which consists of shaved beef, braised beef, meatball, and tendon.


Go on your scavenger hunt and look at the menu. I am sure it takes a lot of reinvention and innovation to get to that point of high end international cuisine restaurant distinction, the way this restaurant got its fame here in Cebu. Phat Pho encourages you to throw out the junk food and prefer healthier meals for the right peso value.


Reinventing yourself is reinventing the lunch box and your dinner table. The menu has a list of fantastic stomach fillers that can change your relationship with food and your impression about daily routines. The Pho is served almost ready to eat, so you do not have to wait for long.


Photos taken July 9 2017 at Phat Pho Vietnamese Restaurant In Ayala, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines


I relish their noodle soup lifestyle, instead of rice. After all, my Chinese heritage made me one in style with their noodles affiliation. So, there goes the connection!


This is one thing you should know about Vietnamese food. When you talk about it, you may be talking about rice in many forms, such as steamed, sticky, noodles, pancakes, porridge, fish sauce, herbs, seafood, pork, beef, chicken, and tropical fruits.


For us Filipinos, rice is an image of rice cooked, steamed and served in a bowl or plate. Rice for Vietnamese, can be anything. Most of the dishes fall under Banh, which is often referred to as banh coun and banh beo or steamed rice cakes and rolls.


Banh coun is steamed fermented rice batter filled with a luscious mixture of cooked seasoned ground pork, minced wood ear mushroom, and topped with fried minced shallots, sometimes called as rolling cake.


The banh beo is a variety of small steamed rice cake or rice pancake, literally white in color and typically features a dimple in the center that is filled with savory ingredients, which includes chopped, dried or fresh shrimp, scallions, mung bean paste, crispy fried shallots, fish sauce, rice vinegar, and oil.


Going there is like looking forward to something new or expecting a newly develop special dish for the day’s menu. It is a relaxing, no frills kind of place that gives you a solid intimate experience of the Vietnamese cuisine plus great staff service.


Slurping the fresh Pho rice noodles topped with fresh basil, bean sprouts, onion slices, shallots and lime can be most satisfying and stomach filling. Apparently, I am talking about the Pho Special. What if I tell you it has been simmered for 4 ½ hours and cooked according to the owner’s secret recipe?


Photos taken July 1 2017 at Phat Pho Vietnamese Restaurant, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines


Drop by and know how this secret recipe can hook you into that slurping mood with a bowl of super hot bubbling liquid littered with the essentials.


A bowl of the Pho noodle dish is not cold, but not too hot either. Once served, you can eat the noodles right away. I guarantee the temperature is just enough for you to enjoy your meal right away.


The Pho Special noodles is actually being dipped into a hot beef broth that was practically simmered for at least 4 and a half hours with the special spices. Many cooks have their own secret to creating the perfect Pho. To add more complex flavor, simmering beef bones for that long with all the spices helps balance the deeply savory quality of the bone broth.


Of course, it is not the place they dump their compost scraps, because the broth is clear and you really can taste the freshness of the beef bones. Using fresh ingredients keeps the flavor focused and concentrated.


In other words, the bone to water ratio plus amounts of spices technique has been close enough to build the depth of the flavor and make the broth intensely flavored. With all the best intentions, this Vietnamese noodle soup technique dictates that the beef bones be cooked low and slow to create the perfect Pho.


The most popular version is the beef Pho Special, which is what we ordered (highly recommended by the lady waitress). Consisting of a deeply savory, warmly spiced beef broth laced with slippery rice noodles, shaved beef, succulent braised beef, tendon, and one big meatball, this dish is great for lunch or dinner.


The satisfaction of eating at the Phat Pho restaurant than experimenting and cooking your own, is almost as great as the delight of that first steamy slurp you make. There are no shortcuts and they are well done! Thank you Phat Pho for a nice lunch.


The tasty soup flows smoothly to your mouth and not sticky or does not even look fatty at all. No oil circling around the soup. It is rich and lip smacking delicious. The kind of quality I value in my soup.


The noodles were pre-cooked until just chewy and right to the bite. Given the rich, savory flavor of the base, you may thank ancient Vietnam for giving your lovingly constructed Pho Special a unique, complex flavor.


Because it was the first time we ate in the restaurant, the waitress suggested the Pho Special, which I thank her for the recommendation. Not to mention, it was one big meatball. Along with the dish comes the chili and hoisin sauce, which we do not quite know what to do.


This restaurant is certainly a taste bud smacking adventure for people like us, travel bloggers, who thrive on learning how to eat international cuisine in the neighborhood. I asked the simplest of all questions. What are we going to do with the chili and hoisin sauce? How do we mix it?


Because the lady attending us does not really know our perfect taste preferences, she just instructed us to mix all little by little until we get the perfect flavor. Smart one! Next time I will use more of my common sense before I ask a question.


The chili sauce looks like a mixture of vinegar and smashed chili. We were not sure if we really want to mix our soup with the biting vinegar, so we just opted to put all of the hoisin sauce. After I poured everything, it tastes really good. It is unethical to recommend when you are reviewing a restaurant, so all I would say is, I love what I had!


If a meal with the local restaurants begin with looking at which food to eat first, here in the Phat Pho Vietnamese Restaurant, a meal may begin with wondering and figuring out how to mix the sauces (especially for those who visited the place the first time), being extra careful not to destroy the overall flavor and get you regretting later what you have just done.


The only challenge you have before you can savor your meal is actually figuring out the right mixture of the sauces to achieve that delectable taste of a superbly prepared hot soup. You do not want to take a bland soup, right?


This noodle soup is a must have for you. The iconic Pho Special and Pho Bo is Vietnam’s most popular dish and the most famous dish in the world. Pho is always accompanied by a dish of fresh herbs. If you want to add more flavor, you can squeeze a lime or a spoonful of chili sauce to the soup or add more hoisin sauce.


Some diners prefer not to put anything and just enjoy the original taste of the soup. If you are in the quest for an authentic Pho Vietnam has to offer, the Phat Pho is surely a good place to start.


The herbs are Chinese coriander, Vietnamese cilantro, Thai basil, holy basil, shaved onions and bean sprouts. You can season your soup with the condiments of sweet Hoisin sauce, salty fish sauce, spicy sriracha sauce, sour pickled pepper, and sour fresh lime.


How much it cost? The Pho Special cost only P239 for single and P389 for two persons. The Pho Bo cost only P229 for single and P389 for two persons.


If you happened to walk, eye closed into a restaurant that offers an international cuisine, such as the Phat Pho, you are to expect to emerge smacking your lips with their heavyweight culinary recipes. The impressive menu suits every culinary palate and budget of the Filipinos.


I also ordered the Banh Mi. The image on the menu looks interesting enough to let me pay P269. It is a crusty baguette filled with chicken liver pate, smoked ham, pickled vegetables of carrots + cucumber + radish, scrambled eggs, chopped spring onions, regular sliced fresh cucumber, pressed pork meatball, Vietnamese sausage or cha lua, and garnished with coriander.


Photos taken July 1 2017 at Phat Pho Vietnamese Restaurant, Cebu City, Cebu


An unsalted butter is spread across the big baguette. You can also choose to have a spicy or not spicy Banh Mi. When you choose the spicy sandwich, you will be served with an extra blended chili consisting of a hot chili mixed with oil to give the whole thing a heat. Also, if you have a not so strong teeth, and have issues biting toasted bread, you may request and are allowed to ask the attending waitress not to toast it.


There is really no formula in trying a new dish. You just pick the best looking image and eat some. Of course, I understand you never forget the first bite and the first visit. First time impressions matter! Honestly, the toasted bread was too hard for me. I expected it to be a bit soft, but it was too hard I was beginning to wonder if it would break my new tooth filling (I am not joking!).


One taste was all it took to make me my first impression. This food taste good, but it can be tough for the teeth if toasted. It was quite an experience, I wasn’t sure I would want a Vietnamese toasted bread or baguette again. I took a bite and an involuntary twitch is shown on my face, bread can be rough and hard, no!


My mind was working on to making this piece of bread softer, up to the level where the mature or golden age ladies can afford to have a good, big soft bite of it. You know what I mean. 60s to 70s with false teeth can’t enjoy this type of bread.


Overall? The sandwich was pretty good, except for the toasted bread. I just realized eating Vietnam cuisine and getting into the Vietnamese kitchen can be quite a challenge for the adoption of the flavor and texture, especially the Banh Mi baguette.


This sandwich is really big (imagine the American subway sandwich). We had it divided into three and it was still enough for us. I was thinking, this sandwich snack can even be one big meal for you, because it is enough to fill your stomach for an estimated duration of minimum 4 hours.


Are you craving the smell and taste of a freshly baked bread? The bread is actually called a Vietnamese baguette, which is a combination of French baking and an Asian baking.


I just can’t quite fathom why it was made crunchy and hard and toasted bread. A big bread like that may break your two front teeth (just kidding). You can request for an untoasted bread if you are someone like me who wanted a softer version of the baguette.


I was off to being fueled by the combination of ham and everything they filled in the sandwich. Guess what I have in mind looking at this extra huge sandwich on my front? This can be good for a packed lunch diversion of your children? Having trouble making them eat routine lunches? Try the Banh Mi!


In the Phat Pho restaurant, anyone can enjoy a well-crafted sandwich that can get you to ingest the delectable history and culture of Vietnam. The Phat Pho trendsetting chef has just intricately innovated some of the Banh Mi filling to make you jump with glee for all that is worth what you paid for it.


So, while you enjoy a little of Vietnam with a few bites of the Banh Mi, you can definitely consider this as a fine example of a changing society slowly penetrated by an international cuisine. This can literally inspire innovation for your sandwich making prowess to achieve a super tasty sandwich.


I am already thinking about what goes into the sandwich that makes any person simply focus on the filling and assembling the sandwich, and totally disregarding the hard baguette. Extra tip if you want to mimic this sandwich – just put anything in it and be brave hah!


The Vietnamese Com Chien Fried Rice menu is simple, yummy, and a good value for money meals. I can’t even believe it is this delicious! I am sure I would be back again just to eat the Com Chien Fried Rice. I love it!


Photos taken July 1 2017 at Phat Pho Vietnamese Restaurant, Cebu City, Cebu


I vowed to myself, to get another bowl, but I can’t have too many carbs on one setting, so see you fried rice the next time I visit Phat Pho. I tell you girl, you should not miss this on your first visit. One spoonful bite and your eyes will widen with its super taste. Magic? I bet.


Fried rice may sound unexciting as it is a very common food. Just wait until your first bite and try not to have the whole bowl for yourself if you have company.


I know I suffered the same fate. I tried not to share the fried rice, but it was my daughter who actually ordered it, so I was kind of hands off to that. It is just that I wish I could have the whole bowl to myself, sigh.


Rediscover the pleasure of this simple dish that works on your mouth and makes you feel closer to home. Do you miss your mom’s cooking? Because that is what this Vietnamese Com Chien Fried Rice brings me – longing for home.


Brace yourself with what they added to this simple dish. The food preparation is similar to the Chinese cooking and is loaded with tofu chunks, seafoods, mushrooms, spring onions, coarsely chopped garlic, coriander relish, fried vermicelli, shrimps, chicken, eggs, bean sprouts, fried shallots on top, and vegetable plus a bit more punch to it (the secret ingredients undiscovered by the locals introduced by Pat Pho).


The appealing images of the dishes placed outside the Phat Pho have constantly drawn the crowd. The flavors are quite authentic and the formula and combination of warm and cold, sweet and spicy, soft and crunchy make them all more appealing, sensuous and tasty.



Get a good glimpse of the Price List here, as of July 9 2017 (Prices may change)

Phat Pho Menu Ayala July 9 2017



Never fear if you are new to this restaurant. The friendly, helpful service is one of the hallmarks of this Vietnamese restaurant. Ask and you shall get your answer!


My daughter and I went back there today, which is over a week after we first visited the restaurant. We went there July 1 and now it is July 9. I desperately want to write an article about this restaurant. The flavors of the dishes are truly amazing and worth my time discovering.


Today we ordered the Chilled Shrimp, Tender Pork Ribs, Watermelon Drink, and the Pho Bo Vien. The Chilled Shrimp looks like a fresh lumpia, but there is more to it. It costs P199 per serving.



The dish comes with 6 half rolls plus the chili sauce and the peanut sauce. You can choose the chili sauce for a chili munch or the peanut sauce, which is a combination of peanut butter + fish sauce + fresh ground peanut toppings. I suggest you try the peanut sauce, because it made me crazy for a day.


The other sauce is called as fresh sauce, which you can use instead of the peanut sauce, which is a mixture of fish sauce and vinegar with minced garlic and red bell pepper.


The Phat Cooler Watermelon Mint Picher cost P189 and refillable. So, get your heart’s desire and just eat and relax at the resto. The cool drink has a refreshing base of mixed citrus lemon, water, orange, watermelon, and a pandan leaf. Truthfully, we had a refill!



The Pho Bo Vien, is made like the Pho Special broth except that it only got 3 big meatballs. If you want more, you can opt for their Pho Special. This dish cost P229 for single and P379 for two persons.



The Tender Pork Ribs costs P299 and it is cooked with chili caramel glaze, tamarind, and fish sauce. Don’t worry. When they say tender, the pork ribs are really tender that you can even pick the meat using the chopsticks with ease. Amazing. This restaurant can be so amazing! I even told my daughter to ask a solid fork, just in case the tender is not what as specified, but what’s the use?



There is still a lot listed in the menu that I want to taste. Maybe, one day, when my schedule is not so tight in discovering and blogging restaurants, and just strolling out there relaxing, I may drop by again and eat!


I just read an article tonight as I was writing this blog post, that really caught my eye. According to researchers, we tend to eat more because the food we take isn’t delicious enough. Could it be that eating at the Phat Pho can make you lose weight? It is up for you to discover or let your fat wallet decide.


You already have a good idea of what they were made of, just in case you have any kind of allergy, you can avoid the food that is not good for you and pick the items in the menu you can eat!





Where to find Phat Pho In Cebu

Robinsons Cybergate

Ground floor, Robinsons Cybergate

Don Gil Garcia Street, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines

Telephone 032 238 6825



Ground floor, Ayala Terraces

Ayala, Cebu Business Park

Beside the Laguna Garden Café

Biliran Road, Cebu City, Cebu

Telephone 032 410 9687



Crossroads Mall, Gov. M. Cuenco Avenue, Cebu City, Cebu

Telephone 032 416 2442

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