Rotterdam

Pho Vietnamese Restaurant and Noodle Bar (Rotterdam, Netherlands): All the Vietnamese Food You Crave

THE STORY

On my sixth visit to Pho Restaurant and Noodle Bar, I thought to myself

Did I like the Bun Bo Hue? Was it spicy enough?

So I visited this blog - my blog - to remember, and I realized that I hadn’t written a review for it.

I’ve been here countless times since, and I’m only just now getting around to it! Lately I’ve been spending more time working on my freelancing business and cooking at home, so my Asian restaurant adventures aren’t as frequent.

Pho Vietnamese Restaurant Noodle Bar Rotterdam Netherlands bun bo hue soup

Considering, however, that Pho Restaurant and Noodle Bar is my go-to restaurant to scratch my Vietnamese food craving, it is long overdue for a review.

The restaurant seems small at first, but it can easily seat 40 to 50 people. The inside is vibrant but still gezellig (cozy), and while you may want a reservation for a Friday or Saturday night, you won’t usually need one.

Pho Vietnamese Restaurant and Noodle Bar offers almost everything I miss about Vietnamese food (I’m still looking for a restaurant that offers tendon in their pho).

Pho Vietnamese Restaurant and Noodle Bar Rotterdam Netherlands soup

THE REVIEW

First, the bun bo hue. The first time I went, I was overwhelmed by the number of options I had, though I knew I wanted noodle soup. The Ramen Marauder ordered the pho, so I ordered the bun bo hue.

I would describe the spicy level as refreshing: it wasn’t so spicy that I couldn’t enjoy it, but it also wasn’t so underwhelming that I questioned whether they even added any spice to it. The portion was more generous that most Vietnamese restaurants we’ve seen in Europe.

The Ramen Marauder was particularly excited about his pho with everything. Not only was it a large portion, but Pho Vietnamese Restaurant and Noodle Bar also puts hoisin on their tables - another uncommon finding in Europe.

I also had the pho on another visit, and it was quite satisfying. This is a good pho for anyone who hasn’t tried it before. The broth is flavorful but not overly spiced, and the noodle/toppings/broth ratio is superb. Whenever I go with people who aren’t as familiar with Vietnamese food, and they order the pho, they finish it.

Pho Vietnamese Restaurant Noodle Bar Rotterdam Netherlands bun bo xao vermicelli

I have also enjoyed the bun bo xao: vermicelli noodles with stir-fried beef, vegetables, and herbs. This is a delicious alternative to noodle soup that is just as filling. As someone with a peanut allergy, I’ve ordered it without peanuts and had no problems.

Whether you’re craving Vietnamese food right now or are simply curious, you will find something to enjoy at Pho Vietnamese Restaurant and Noodle Bar. Unless you’re a total snob about your Vietnamese food experience, in which case, this is not the place for you (my blog or the restaurant).


Pho Vietnamese Restaurant and Noodle Bar, West-Kruiskade 1-A, 3014 AJ Rotterdam, Nederland, +31 10 3070387

Little V (Rotterdam, Netherlands): The Vietnamese Restaurant That Has Everything

THE STORY

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.

Little V Restaurant Rotterdam Netherlands Vietnamese Pho Noodle Soup

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.

Little V Restaurant Rotterdam Netherlands Spring Rolls with Nuoc Cham

THE REVIEW

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.

Little V Restaurant Rotterdam Netherlands Vietnamese Coffee

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.


Little V (they also have a location in Den Haag), Grotekerkplein 109, 3011 GC Rotterdam, Netherlands, +31 10 413 11 91

Noo.Me (Rotterdam, Netherlands): Your Go-To Asian Restaurant For All Noodle Soups

THE STORY

As I've mentioned before, The Ramen Marauder and I have relocated to Rotterdam. When we tell family and friends, it's not unusual that A) someone assumes I meant Amsterdam; or B) someone asks "How far is that from Amsterdam?" Even when I've booked Airbnbs or flights, the emails I received titled "What to do in Rotterdam" are filled with things to do in Amsterdam.

And by all means, keep visiting Amsterdam.

Someone said to me that, when they visited Rotterdam, they got out of the train station and felt like they were staring at a concrete wall. It seems to me they forgot to turn around.

Kralingse Plas Rotterdam Netherlands Sailing Boats Park Spring

As I get to know Rotterdam, I feel like this city has been preparing for my arrival all my life. There are Asian restaurants, bars, cute cats, green spaces, markets, board game shops, and still more to discover. Everywhere I turn I see diversity, and nearly everyone I speak with is happy to talk to someone new. (Or they're politely tolerating me.)

Daniel at Noo.Me explained to me that the Dutch in Rotterdam are eager to learn more about Asian culture and cuisine. His crowd-funded restaurant offers dishes from multiple southeast Asian countries, but what makes his place truly unique is that he does the dishes justice. When Asian restaurants offer dishes from multiple countries, they almost seem to lose credibility by combining all these cuisines under one umbrella.

Noo.Me Rotterdam Netherlands Holland Laksa Pho Bao Dumplings Asian Food Malaysian Vietnamese

Not Noo.Me. Daniel clearly cares about what he offers on the menu because he wants customers to have a positive, authentic experience, and ultimately hopes they will want to learn more about Asian cuisine. He also approaches it all with good humor - if you check out their menu, you'll understand.

This may be just the honeymoon phase of our new move, but I have a feeling I will continue loving this city.

Noo.Me Rotterdam Netherlands Menu Noodle Soup Malaysian Laksa Seafood Asian Food

THE REVIEW

The Ramen Marauder ordered Vietnamese pho, I had the Malaysian laksa, and we shared an order of Chinese fried dumplings and a cha siu bao. I almost wish I had ordered a larger size because it seemed like all the goodness couldn't fit in a small! Or maybe I just wanted a little more broth, which was a bit spicier than I expected (but pleasant). The pho, which we both enjoyed when we ordered to go another time, was also delicious. Afterwards we both enjoyed a Vietnamese coffee, which came with a mini stroopwafel.

This is a great place to try a variety of good food from different Asian cultures - bring your friends!


Noo.Me, Botersloot 18A, 3011 HG Rotterdam, Netherlands, +31 10 737 1865

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