A really good first dinner at Pho Sing (Alameda)
Last week, I received an urgent text from a friend about Pho Sinh, a newish Vietnamese place that replaced Panda Restaurant. “Pho place for dinner? The menu looks interesting. Some Hanoi specialties like buncha”. So off we went.
While the house specialty is presumably pho, we were too intrigued by the “Ha Noi Cuisine” section to order any on our first visit. We had the Bun Cha Ha Noi (marinated broiled pork served with vermicelli, salad wrap and special sauce), Nem Cua (fried rice paper, stuffed with crab meat and black mushrooms) and Tom Trung Man (salted egg yolk fried prawns).
All of it was really good – savory-sweet slices of pork and pork patty in an addictive sauce, to be wrapped with vermicelli, mint, Thai basil, and perilla in lettuce and dipped in more of the same sauce; light crab/mushroom spring rolls, to be eaten the same way, and the fried prawns, gritty and funky with its salted egg yolk batter.
I’m looking forward to going back. Maybe next time I’ll try the pho.
Thanks for the report. I noticed that it had replaced Panda a couple of weeks ago. Any info on the sign for pho on Fireden Lounge farther down Park St.?
the fried calamari i had really disappointed. good to know there's gems to be discovered here.
yes! I'm so thrilled that there's now an east bay source of Northern dishes--not only do I not have to drive to the Tenderloin, I don't have to even leave the Island!
Try the cha ca! I love how different this dish is from what I expect from Vietnamese dishes (yum, dill!) If you're feeling funky, be sure to ask for the shrimp paste and peanuts. They are not typically brought to the table, but they are a traditional part of the dish.
re: Ruth Lafler
Finally got down there. We had the papaya salad with beef jerky, imperial rolls, cha ca and bun cha ha noi.
The imperial rolls were excellent: crisp on the outside, moist and flavorful on the inside. The papaya salad was good, but I wish the jerky had been in smaller pieces that would have mixed better with the papaya. The dressing was really delicious.
Bun cha ha noi is one of my favorite dishes, and this was an excellent rendition. I particularly liked the thin strips of pork belly in with the pork patties and other tasty pork pieces.
The cha ca was brought to the table in a frying pan on an alcohol gel (no odor) brazier. I let it cook until the herbs had wilted and browned then turned it off, but the fish -- sturgeon, according to the waiter, was a little dry. Still, a creditable version.
Very happy to have this place near my house!