This Vietnamese restaurant along Beach Road is run by Vietnamese. Don’t get your hope high though.

We arrived at 12.30pm and although the place was not packed solid, there were a lot of tables with leftover utensils and cutleries from previous diners. Throughout the lunch, I get a sense that cleaning up the tables after patrons leave is not regulated, it’s more of an ad hoc thing.

We ordered Pho Tai (Sliced Beef Noodle Soup $10), Com Tam (Broken Rice with Grilled Pork Chop, sunny side up egg and egg meatloaf $12) and two glasses of Ice Coffee with Condensed Milk $4/glass.

The pho was such a disappointment. I have never had pho served to me, whether in Singapore or Vietnam or anywhere in the world without the ubiquitous wedge of green lemon and basil leaves. This is a first. Naturally, the taste of the pho was under par compared with even food court Vietnamese outlets. Beef was also over cooked and the soup a little cold. Later I realised that food is cooked in the kitchen downstairs and brought up. If the boys are busy with making your drinks or taking orders, your tray of food is left on the service counter. Perhaps this is the reason for over cooked beef and less than piping hot soup.

Com Tam is your quintessential dish in Vietnam. The most important ingredient is broken rice. This they got right as the grains are evidently shorter and broken. But the grilled pork was so dry and chewy, it was almost like a jerky. Sunny side up egg was not runny, it was well done. The saving grace was the egg meatloaf. It was soft and juicy from the minced meat.

Coffee was good. They got this one right. Tasted like those you get in Vietnam

The place is quite pleasant looking, especially the back room which is Instagramable. So if you are there to take nice pictures, by all means. If you looking for authentic Vietnamese food, please dial down your expectations.

For me, I won’t be coming back any time soon.