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Fungry and Fabulous Review - Brass Spoon

Another wet, cold January day calls for another plate, or rather, bowl of comfort food. I brave the rain today to try out Brass Spoon, a small Vietnamese restaurant on Moon Street in Wan Chai.

The lunch menu is simple: they have pho, bun (cold vermicelli) plus appetisers of spring rolls or steamed rolls. What I like though, is how they take a page out of ramen restaurants, and allow you to be extra specific about what you want in your pho noodles. For example, whether you want a standard amount of scallions or coriander; or less or more. For those who are really hungry, you can even ask for extra noodles.

I ordered a bowl of premium raw beef pho, with standard amounts of everything, though I did ask for extra sprouts, which came on the side. The pho arrives first (yes, before the appetiser of spring rolls) and it is a bit of a surprise. Though I had only ordered the premium raw beef, it came with only 3 paltry pieces; but also with other things I didn’t ask for, such as 3 pieces of Vietnamese sausage, and 2 pieces of cooked beef. It was okay, but I would have preferred just more of what I asked for, i.e. raw beef. The soup is aromatic and not very oily; and the noodles are nice and al dente. My key complaint, apart from the meat, is that although I can appreciate that serving it with a brass spoon is part of their design motif, I much prefer using a traditional Asian soup spoon, which is a lot deeper and allows a better proportion of soup to noodles with each spoonful.

My friend ordered the pork belly bun vermicelli, and I personally thought this was very disappointing. The pork belly were too thinly sliced and extremely dry. It doesn’t hold a candle to the one they serve at Bep, where the pork is cooked and served whole, making it a lot juicier. It is also beautifully caramelised, while here, it is not at all. The sauce that is provided by the bottle is far too sweet, so you have to concoct your own with fresh lime and ask for some traditional fish sauce to make the dish edible.

The spring rolls, which arrived last, are decent. They are piping hot, and bursting with veggies. The batter is nice and crispy and not too thick. It’s functional, but nothing too memorable.

Overall, I would say the same about the restaurant. It may look nice, but there are issues like the brass spoon not being a decent soup spoon. Or a complete lack of attention to details: they seated us at a dining counter next to the sliding front door, and there is also a wooden sign next to the door. The end result is that every time someone slid the door open with too much force, the wooden sign nearly toppled over into my friend’s bowl of noodles.

Lunch was paid for by: me and came to about HK$200 per person. It’s quite a lot for Vietnamese food,  and I still prefer the pho at Cafe Locomotive (Tai Hang branch. Incidentally, I went to the Wanchai branch over the weekend and it was terrible) and the bun at Bep.


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