I had been craving pho noodle soup for a while. I wanted a steaming bowl of delicate yet sturdy broth, the squeak of beef balls between my teeth, the refreshing crunch of bean sprouts between slurps...have you ever had that feeling?
I presume you have, which is why you're here on this blog.
On this sunny summer evening, The Ramen Marauder and I headed towards the City Center (Centrum) to satisfy my craving at Little V. The pictures I'd seen made me curious - it looked trendy (not usually something I look for in an Asian restaurant), but the food looked so legit.
There was a ton of outdoor seating, though half of the tables were reserved. Our waitress came over and explained the menu, which was much more extensive than I had expected. Also, there were plenty of wait staff (if that's something you're into).
We noticed tables around us sharing large platters of what appeared to be noodles and crepes. For just the two of us, it seemed a bit much, but I look forward to going back and trying more dishes with more friends.
Because the food was, indeed, legit.
First, I recommend the house-made lemongrass ginger iced tea. On these warm Dutch days, it'll be the perfect thing to wash down your spring rolls and pho.
When the pho arrived, I'm not sure I spoke more than five words from beginning to end - I couldn't stop stuffing my face! More than just a great bowl of broth, there was a substantial balance of noodles and meat as well, enough so that nearly every spoonful had a bite of meat and pinch of noodles. While there wasn't Sriracha and hoisin on the table, they do provide a small of the two sauces together (not mixed!). And they even had Thai basil. I had almost forgotten how its sweet, anise aroma adds such depth to pho.
The spring rolls were a perfect addition to our dinner. Although we received them after we had eaten our pho, we still had a comfortable amount of room for them. I've never seen so much greenery included with an order of spring rolls, so I chose to roll up the spring rolls with some of the lettuce and mint and dipped it in the nuoc cham. Right or wrong, it was delicious.
And to finish the meal, we ordered Vietnamese coffee, which came with a lovely shortbread cookie.
Everything - the pho, the spring rolls, the sauces, the Vietnamese coffee - came in these typical Chinese-patterned blue-and-white bowls. It was a strangely familiar touch to the experience.
If you are looking for a beautiful dining experience and a great bowl of pho, Little V Rotterdam is the place to be.
BONUS: The bathroom was super cool.