Pho Hanoi Vietnamese Restaurant

Outdoor Sign

OPEN: Daily 10:00am — 10:00pm
PAYMENT: Cash Only
SEATING: Indoor/Non-Smoking, Outdoor/Smoking
MENU: See Attached PDF, prices and menu as of Sept. 22, 2013
LOCATION: See Map Below


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The Mystique of Vietnamese Cuisine

Those who have traveled extensively in South East Asia and have made trips to Vietnam usually come back to the Philippines and tell their friends how great the food is. They’ll dazzle you mythical tales of elusive street food carts and restaurants that serve some of the finest delicacies ever produced for less than a dollar…if you can find them. Names, exact locations and what they actually ate elude them as their eyes glaze over and they continue their story gazing in the distance as if in some sort of memory induced food trance.

Once you snap them out of their tranquil dream state you can usually get some basic information and descriptions, but it’s always the same items repeated time and time again:

  • Fried and fresh spring rolls
  • Pho
  • Some unidentified meat on a stick
  • A delicious sandwich with some bar-b-qued meat and vegetables
  • Salad that had noodles and meat with a sweet, salty and vinegary taste

You may recognize a few of these items and think you’re making progress, then the person will snap back to their teary eyed dream state of reminiscing and tell you that you just don’t understand…you just don’t understand. These people have been to ‘Nam and have been forever changed.

The Vietnamese Have Arrived in the Philippines

A headline like this in the 60′s and 70′s would have had an entirely different reaction than it does today. On July 19, 2013 Pho Hanoi opened it’s doors in the Korea Town area of Friendship Highway in Angeles City. I ate there two weeks after opening and found it to be a welcome dining addition to this part of town which mostly has Korean restaurants. It was better than I expected for a new restaurant.

My friend Zack and I were out and about one late night searching for a place to get a bite to eat. As we were driving aimlessly trying to decide between Jollibee fast food or driving to the Fields area I casually mentioned that there was a newer Vietnamese place that had opened a few months back. He slammed on the brakes and immediately turned around. Our choice had been made.

Pho Hanoi Food Experience

Outdoor Street Signage

Pho Hanoi restaurant is a small place with indoor non-smoking and outdoor smoking sections. Their menu is small compared to other places in town, but it has a good selection of appetizers, vermicelli (Bun), noodles, rice and sandwich choices. Our servers brought us out a complimentary sweet, hot , lime flavored tea while we looked through the concise menu. The server told us the restaurant is owned by a Vietnamese person and assured us that everything was authentically prepared.

Complimentary Tea ServiceNon-Smoking Dining RoomSmoking Seating

 We ordered:

  1. Cha Gio — Fried spring rolls
  2. Bun Ga Nuong Cha Gio — Vermicelli noodle salad with spring roll
  3. Pho Hanoi — Combination pho
  4. Banh Mi Sandwich — Bar-b-que chicken sanwich

The Cha Gio arrived first. Six pieces of tightly wrapped, stout, pork filled rolls with a sweet and sour dipping sauce. The rice paper gives the spring roll a crisp outside and slightly chewy inside. I’ve had spring rolls with thinner wrappers, but I liked the thicker texture of these.

Fried Spring Rolls

Our main courses arrived soon after and I thought the presentation of my Bun Ga Nuong Cha Gio was beautiful and I couldn’t wait to dig into this unique dish. I hardly knew where to start. I wondered if  I should add some of the chili sauces that were on the table, mix the whole thing up or eat a little portion of noodle, lettuce, spring roll and meat separately. I ended up giving everything a light toss and then got a little of each ingredient on my fork.

The taste of this dish was incredible! It was crunchy, savory, spicy, salty and sweet all at the same time and all the different textures were unique. I knew immediately that I’d found my go-to Vietnamese food dish. Near the end I added some of the chili sauces just to see how they would affect the taste. My conclusion was that this dish is great without any additional sauces unless you love your food super spicy.

Bar-b-que Pork Noodle Salad

Quick note — Pho Hanoi is selling their homemade chili oil sauce. Our lovely and friendly waitress models with a jar that I believe is available for 250 Peso.

Waitress and Chili Sauce

Zack’s Pho Hanoi looked a little underwhelming. I had tried a small bowl of the pho on my first visit and felt the same way then. For the large portion at $6.00 it looked small. It was nothing like the large, overflowing, steaming bowls of noodle pho I’d eaten in Los Angeles Vietnamese restaurants and his side vegetables looked wilted and sparse. Zack also felt that there wasn’t nearly enough noodles (an extra portion is available for an additional charge of approximately $1.35). It did have several meat ingredients that looked appetizing and Zack had no problem eating it all. Overall he felt the broth, meats and noodles were very tasty. Unfortunately pho does not appear to be the star dish at Pho Hanoi.

Noodle Soup

But all was not lost! We still had the Banh Mi bar-b-que chicken sandwich which I graciously offered to share. Fortunately for me, Zack declined. Having only heard of the famous Banh Mi sandwich I was anxious to sink my teeth into it. I was not disappointed. The crusty yet soft bread had soaked up the various unfamiliar sauces they put on it and all of the vegetables were very crisp. The bar-b-qued chicken was the perfect amount for the size of the sandwich and was spicy and delicious. For $3.40 I thought this was a fantastic value for the money and one of the best sandwiches I’ve had in the Philippines. When I’m dying for a sandwich and the nearest Subway is 30 to 45 minutes drive away, I’m heading to Pho Hanoi for this sandwich.

Crispy Bread and Spicy Chicken

Overall I was extremely pleased with my meal as a whole. I enjoyed every dish I ordered and would order all of them again. Zack was slightly disappointed, but not enough to nix the place on a go back. I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t order the pho again and we both agreed that it’s not up to the high standard that we expected for the price. But the menu has enough other items that are reasonably priced. My suggestion is to start off with an appetizer and order 2 or 3 (depending on the number in your party) other items to get a taste of everything and share them family style.

Our total bill came in at 775 Peso (approximately $17.75) with tip. Zack’s Pho Hanoi pho was the most expensive and most disappointing of the items we ordered. If you took that out of the equation I think there is good value for your money here and it’s a unique cuisine that (surprisingly) isn’t easily found in the Philippines. But that is changing fast.

More New Arrivals

Pho Hanoi now has some competition in Angeles City as another Vietnamese (allegedly owned by a different Vietnamese person) has opened in the new shopping complex across the street from Jollibee in an area commonly called Checkpoint. We’ll be checking them out soon for a full review. I’ve also heard rumors of yet another Vietnamese restaurant soon to open but don’t have any other details as of this writing. Finally I’ve also heard whispers of a Vietnamese restaurant located somewhere in Angeles City Proper that has been open for years. It seems as though the Vietnamese are finally gaining some ground on the culinary battlefield here in Angeles City.

View From Friendship Highway

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Rating: 9.8/10 (6 votes cast)

Amoremio Italian Restaurant

Unlit Sign Above Entrance

OPEN: Daily 10:00am — 11:00pm
PAYMENT: Cash Only
SEATING: Indoor/Non-Smoking, Outdoor/Smoking
DELIVERY: Available
LOCAL PHONE #: (045) 304-0328
MENU: See Attached PDF, prices and menu as of Sept. 21, 2013
LOCATION: See Map Below

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Battle Italian Food In Angeles City, Philippines

Amoremio opened in Angeles City a little over a year ago right next door to the world famous C’ Italian Dining, the premier Italian restaurant in the area. Many people thought Amoremio was destined for failure as C’ has had a lock on fine Italian dining in Angeles City for many, many years and is a favorite among locals, expats and tourists alike.

On paper there were several disadvantages:

  • C’ was a large stand alone restaurant
  • Amoremio was small and nestled in a building housing other businesses
  • C’ was established with locals, expats and tourists
  • Amoremio was new to a town who already has several Italian restaurants
  • C’ was branded as “Italian Dining”
  • Amoremio’s signage refers to it as “Mediterranean Cuisine”

While C’ still maintained a steady, busy business, Chef Tiziano of Amoremio stayed the course and word quickly got around town that a new Italian place with a chef who owned a restaurant in Manila for decades was now here. The word on the street was that the food was much cheaper and of equal or better quality to the competition. 

My first experience eating here in November 2012 proved the rumors to be true. I was never a regular C’ customer. I went there a few times when friends came to town or for a truly special date, but price always kept me away even though the quality was superior to most other places in town. On the other hand, I frequented Amoremio several times. The quality and prices were more than in line and you could easily eat there for well under $10.00.

The Tide Turns

In April of 2013 C’ experienced an electrical fire in the upper portion of their building. By all accounts, damage was minimal and confined to an upper storeroom. A quick re-opening was expected. The damaged area was fixed up rather quickly and they re-opened a few weeks later only to be shut down almost immediately by City Officials. This location of C’ has never re-opened again. The word around town is that it will never re-open and as of this writing the building has a sign posted re-directing your to their small location in the Petron gas station on Clark.

Fortunately, the best Italian restaurant is right next door and dishing up some of the most authentic and delicious Italian food outside of Italy at reasonable prices. I recently dined here again as the internet buzz from locals were calling it the best place in town.

Streetview entrance

Indoor/Outdoor Dining In A Quaint and Quiet Envrionment

Dining Room

Upon entering the well lit, Italian decorated Amoremio dining room you will find sturdy wooden tables and chairs painted gold. Various Italian wines and ingredients are used for decoration and all the tables are fully set awaiting your arrival. 

Just through a door in the back is the open-air outdoor bar and patio dining area where smoking is permitted.

Bar

The outdoor patio is covered seating and a bit more romantic with Italian style candles in bottles with was dripping down it serving as your light. The wait staff provides an LED light for you to peruse the menu.  The staff is also very knowledgeable and well dressed providing you with excellent service.

Amoremio Outdoor Dining Patio

Pizza and Pasta Straight of Italy

A small, complimentary bread basket with olive oil and tomato dipping sauce was brought to the table with our place settings and menus. There were two different types of soft, fresh bread and homemade bread sticks. This was a nice start to a meal and gave us something to munch on as we looked through the vast menu of appetizers, salads, pastas, risottos, paellas, pizzas and main courses to choose from.

Fresh Bread Basket

We ordered the small Caesar salad which was had crisp lettuce, crunchy bacon, homemade croutons and shaved Parmesan cheese tossed in the classic creamy dressing. For my personal tastes I thought the salad was over-dressed and it’s not the first time I’ve had this salad here and felt this way. My suggestion would be to order it with the dressing on the side or ask your server to have them go easy on the dressing.

Small Ceasar Salad

A pizza from Amoremio is always a good idea. They have several flavors to choose from with familiar and not so familiar toppings. You can’t go wrong with the classic Margherita for the price and its simple yet delicious flavor. On this visit we went with Italian sausage and mushrooms; I wasn’t crazy about the Italian sausage as I felt like it tasted more like pepperoni. The thin crust and flavorful toppings re-heat up great the next day.

Pizza

For our main courses I went with Spaghetti Aglio Olio Gamberetti, or spaghetti with olive oil, garlic and shrimps. While this dish sounds simple it had a great flavor and was spectacular. As an added bonus, the wait staff asked me if I wanted the pasta cooked al dente or regular. I choose al dente and it was perfectly prepared.

Spaghetti with Olive Oil, Garlic and Shrimps

My date went with the Beef Lasagna in Porcini Mushroom Sauce that she noticed on the chalk board on our way in. This creamy dish was rich and deep in flavor. The plentiful and fresh mushrooms were bathed in the creamy béchamel sauce with a hint of  cheese, beef and tomato flavor from the lasagna all baked into pasta. 

Chef Special

While this dish may not appear to be the most appetizing, my date had no problem eating the entire portion and mopping up the rest of the sauce with the side of garlic bread. She may never eat my regular old lasagna again!

Amoremio Chef Specials

Finest Italian Restaurant for the Money

While Angeles City has several Italian restaurants to choose from Amoremio is certainly leading the pack and may be the best value for the money in town. My bill with tip was 1215 Philippines Pesos (roughly $27.50 as of this writing) and in any other country I would have paid a lot more. I took home half the pizza and enjoyed it the next day for lunch.

Amoremio seems to have completely arrived and is definitely one of the top Italian places in town. This is due to the expert chef and management running the business. They have trained the cooks and wait staff extremely well and make sure that you receive a delicious and authentic meal at an affordable price in a beautiful atmosphere. We hope to add to their story soon by interviewing Chef Tiziano and visit them again to experience more of their spectacular dishes.

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Rating: 10.0/10 (6 votes cast)

Welcome to SleepEatGolf

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