The ongoing chronicles of pho continued at Ninh Kieu, an establishment I have passed by countless times on my way into Chinatown, but never really noticed. The only reason it stood out at all was due to the fact that they had, at some point, put up a white vinyl sign which attracted my eye.
The restaurant is most notable because of their large windows, which enclose just about the entire dining area. As I am used to the shadowy corners of Pho Tau Bay, this was definitely a pleasant change. We could have done without the tinkering elevator music though, which although had the intention of providing a relaxing atmosphere, had the opposite affect.
As is standard, we split an order of green onion cakes ($4.75) to start, and opted for our usual benchmark bowls of pho – for me, the medium rare beef ($7.50) and for Dickson, the special beef noodle soup ($8.50).
Service was friendly and fairly efficient – we weren’t left waiting for our food. I would pass on the green onion cakes next time though – while crisp, the kitchen may have misplaced the salt while making the dish.
Green Onion Cakes
As I always order the smaller portions of pho when given the opportunity, I wasn’t ready for Ninh Kieu’s marathon version of pho. And it wasn’t just me – even Dickson had difficulty getting through the entire serving. However, quality is more important than quantity in the case of pho, and though we found the broth to be satisfactory, it didn’t make an indelible impression on us either.
Medium Rare Beef Pho
Special Beef Noodle Soup
Having the opportune location next to Pho Tau Bay, whose closure periods are hard to predict, I would consider returning to Ninh Kieu in a pinch. I would just have to prepare my appetite for a worthy opponent beforehand.
10708 98 Street
Sunday-Thursday 11am-9pm, Friday-Saturday 11am-10pm