Va Pho, Asian Canteen, Chennai

Pan Asian flavours are my favourite  followed closely by Italian. And so when I saw the bright lights of Va Pho, the newest to join this league, I had to drop by for a visit. Aptly titled Asian Canteen, the name is a play of words. Ph [pronounced Foe is a Vietnamese soup] while it could also be the Va Po [as we say in Tamil- which translates to come and go]. There were no doubts in my head with reference to the food or flavours as this was another feature in the Oriental Cuisines’s hat.  

As I marched up the two flights of stairs, the stark grey walls kept me company. But the minute you walk in, you are hit by the burst of colours, the vibrant decor and the glittering tuk tuk near the entrance. We took the table at the far end , with high chairs. Two others near us were enjoying their plate of momos while playing a game of Jenga. I spotted a corner on the other side with shelves lined up with merchandise and one of them vintage radio units as well. The walls are all brightly decorated with murals, the monkey being the highlight of it all.  Some of the light fittings look like cameras set up for a photo shoot and there are round tables with seating on three sides, perfect for large groups. It had a very casual relaxed feel to it. 

I also spotted a Roulette and quickly made a beeline to check it out. They were just sorting the game out and hopefully on my next visit it would have the cards and tokens. I had seen this only in movies and so the curious me wanted to play.

Time to get down to the food, right? the menu is simple, all of 4 sheets and the Chef told us it would change periodically. They had a Chef from Malaysia overseeing the kitchen for the time being.. all of which meant the food was going to be spot on and delicious. Here is what we had,

Miloni crush [Melon and pineapple based] and Royale Madras [ with Tender Coconut as base]

Broccoli stir fry of sorts – just yummilicious 

Veg dim sums

Chilli Tofu Satay 

The Bao- it had spicy Tofu . My first experience digging into a Bao and this was light, airy and went well with the filling. did not need a dipping sauce at all. 
The Vegetarian Soup – the broth is poured on the vegetables at the table. There is a side of lemon, sprouts and chilli sauce to add based on your preference.

Since Mangos are in season, here is a Mango based drink that was thick, creamy and refreshing

Japchae- Glass noodles salad with crunchy vegetables and variety of mushrooms.

A Chef’s special rice bowl- with beans, garlic and thai flavours 

A melange of veggies stir fried

Chocolate Mousse- it was fun to open the dome and dig into this dark chocolate heaven

Burmese Falooda- There was ice cream, chia seeds, and so much more in this tall dessert 

Sticky rice with peaches, a twist on the traditional sticky rice and mango.

Tender coconut ice cream stick served with coconut cream that had saago in it along with light flaky biscuits on the side. 
What was amazing about the place was not only was the food good, it was also priced very reasonably. All dishes were between 140- 350 bucks. The most expensive item on their menu was a main dish [non veg] and a dessert- Vapholicious [that would be a fun dessert if you are a group of 4 or more] priced @Rs499  
While the flavours in all dishes were familiar, quite a few were new to me [I have heard of the Bao and glass noodles salad, but this was my1st time digging into one]. I know for sure this is going to be one of my favourite places to head to … 
Address:
Va Pho is located behind Hot Breads ,Copper Chimney and Sera Tapas bar. 
No: 6, Cathedral road, Chennai: 86. 
Ph: (044) 48566555.

They are open from 12noon to 11pm all days. 

Disclaimer:
The reviews posted on this blog are based on my personal experience. Also remember that restaurants and eat outs sometimes change with time, so does their food and service. So, kindly consider these factors while visiting the places. Remember, no two palates are the same. Bon Appétit  🙂