The latest stateside success to take root in Beijing is Oregon’s 20-year-old Vietnamese mini-chain Pho Van, recently opened in the trendy Chaoyang district and serving up Mama Van's age-old recipes in a peaceful corner of the Solana Mall - perfect for winding down after a day of serious credit-card abuse.
This hip but modest eatery serves regional Viet comfort food at its best, and although a US franchise, it was indeed founded and is still proudly run by the Van family, so much so that the owner’s mother insisted on flying to Beijing to ensure each dish carried their trademark flavours.
Menu highlights include Goi Cuon rice paper rolls stuffed with juicy pork, crunchy veg, cilantro with a rich peanut dipping sauce, and the refreshing Goi Du Du Tom salad accompanied with generous lashings of shrimp, green papaya, and a sweet sharp dressing warmed through with chilli.
Along with the signature house pho, arguably the star of the show is the Ca Kho To fish claypot, braised until tender in an aromatic sweet-salty marinade – perfect with a glass or two selected from the healthy array of Oregon-sourced wines from Elk Cove’s fruity pinot grigio to Penner Ash’s aromatic pinot noir. Ăn ngon miệng!