Fresh, Tasty Vietnamese Food? That’s ‘Pho’ Sure

Columns Lite Bites

October 20, 2013

Story By: Yu Shing Ting | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo

When Kim Nguyen had her first child in 1994, she decided it was time to learn how to cook. Through help from friends, family and her own research, she was soon creating many of the delicious dishes she ate growing up in Vietnam.

She also discovered that she enjoyed cooking, and in April 2008 she and husband Nhut Thai opened Pho Five-O Vietnamese Restaurant in Aiea.

“I try to do better and better every day,” says Nguyen about her cooking. “I always like to use fresh ingredients, and we try to keep the restaurant very clean.”

The menu features a great selection of pho, egg noodles, Vietnamese style udon soup, clear noodle soup, crispy fried noodle, rice plates, vermicelli noodle plates and more.

For appetizers, the traditional Summer Roll ($4.95, two rolls) is the perfect dish to start your meal. It’s made with lettuce, vermicelli rice noodle, mint, bean sprout and shrimp wrapped in a rice paper and served with a tasty homemade peanut sauce. In place of shrimp, customers also can choose barbecue pork, barbecue beef, barbecue chicken, skewered pork or tofu.

Also popular is the Stir-Fried Spicy Lemongrass Chicken dish with steamed rice ($9.95) featuring a stir-fried onion and chili hot sauce, lemongrass, garlic and fish sauce that is medium on the level of spiciness. It can also be served with vermicelli noodles instead of rice, and ordered as lemongrass tofu instead of chicken.

Of course, the Pho Beef Noodle Soup also is a customer favorite. “We cook the pho soup for a long time, almost a full day,” notes Nguyen. “And we also can make a veggie broth for customers who do not eat meat.”

Customers also can order off the menu of neighboring Hi Sandwich & Drink featuring a nice selection of Vietnamese style sandwiches, as well as refreshing smoothies, bubble tea and drinks, including fresh, homemade Thai Tea ($3.50).

In December 2012, Nguyen and Thai opened Hi Sandwich & Drink, which is more of a fast food, take-out eatery, while Pho Five-O is a casual, family-friendly, dine-in restaurant. Both are conveniently located in Waimalu Shopping Center with plenty of free parking.

Pho Five-0 Vietnamese Restaurant

98-020 Kamehameha Hwy.
Daily, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

Aiea, HI 96701

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