Vietnamese tapas at Pho 31

The silly lad rushed off, giving me the perfect opportunity to chat up my new found target. I immediately went over and apologized profusely for being so careless with my karage and smiled my sweetest smile, hoping he’ll be entranced.

The moment his eyes met mine, I knew the pot of gold was mine, all mine. He got up and began introducing himself. I found out that he was actually Viet-American. His mum was Vietnamese while his dad was from California. My oh my, no wonder he looked so delicious.

Anyway, he asked me where my friend (Toga) went and I spun a clever lie and told him that Toga was actually a business client and he had left to go back to the hotel to attend to some important matter. My new Viet cutie then suggested he bring me somewhere else to have a proper dinner. “Yes! Yes! Yes!” I screamed in my mind, I had scored!

Mr. Viet-American then went to get his car (a Porsche, mind you!) and drove me to a Vietnamese restaurant down Killiney Road. Oh, I found out that his parents gave him an authentic Vietnamese name to remind him of his roots. Anh Dung, they call him. His name also signifies heroism and strength. Nice, I like!

Anyway we arrived at Pho 31, this lovely modern looking restaurant that had such beautiful purple coloured walls that matched perfectly with the warm lighting and wooden furniture. Anh Dung brought me inside and even pulled out the chair for me; oh what a gentleman. He ordered a green mango salad, some Vietnamese beef noodle soup, deep fried tofu and Vietnamese fried kway teow.

All I did was just stare at him and drool. Gosh, I couldn’t believe my luck. I was actually quite starved, and was glad the food came fast. My favourite was the beef noodle soup. The rice noodles were rather smooth and soft, very different from the kind of noodles used elsewhere. The beef was sliced thinly and looked rather fresh. There was also a basket of fresh basil, bean sprouts and lettuce. Well I ain’t much of a veggie girl so I skipped the greens.

I could see Anh Dung happily enjoying his fried kway teow. It wasn’t your ordinary local kway teow; this one had a Viet twist to it. Made using flat rice noodles, there was plenty of fresh prawns and red cut chilli. The green mango salad was ultimately refreshing. It had a sweet and sour taste to it that I kind of fancy. Anh Dung liked it too but he had a funny habit of taking out the carrots; apparently he doesn’t like carrots, he thinks they’re only for rabbits.

How adorable is that? Aww, I love it when he gives me that cheeky grin.

I’m not a tofu fan but I dare say, I am now a tofu convert. The deep fried tofu was simply delicious. I never knew tofu could taste this good. It was mixed with prawns and some water chestnuts. The tofu came breaded and I tell you, it tastes perfect with mayonnaise. I’m a new fan of Vietnamese food.

Sitting right in front of Anh Dung was like a dream; the way he eats his food, the way he talks, gosh, he’s just so perfect. I think I must have been staring too hard at him because I didn’t realise that he was actually stretching his hand across the table to meet mine. He stroked it lightly, looked into my eyes and said, ‘Would you like to have dessert”?

I immediately snapped out of my dream and gave him my honey bunny smile and nodded my head gently. I had to satisfy my sweet tooth, or at least, give me something to distract myself because I could feel myself blushing. It’s just the way he looks at me with his piercing eyes.

The coconut flan with caramel arrived, and I playfully took the teaspoon, scooped the silky smooth custard and fed some to Anh Dung. I could tell he enjoyed it. Caramel never goes wrong on any dessert. It was sinfully yummy and it was simply the perfect end to a perfect evening.

– Sushi Tei, 290 Orchard Road, #05-01/04, Paragon, +65 6235-1771, Opens daily 11:30am to 10pm
– Pho 31, 111 Killiney Road, +65 6235-6136 (pictured: Tapas from Pho 31) Opens daily 11:30am to 2:30pm, 6 to 10pm

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