CONTRIBUTED BY ANJALI LIND
My family and I decided to check out Phở Bay in the I’Park Mall the other day before taking in a movie. We were on the early side for lunch, so we were able to walk right in and get a table for four, but I did notice the restaurant filled up quickly as noon approached.
There were many varieties of pho on offer, all available in either small or large sizes. Unless you’re extremely hungry, I recommend the small size, which is what we each ordered. I tried the standard pho with brisket, my mom and husband ordered chicken pho, and my father tried a spicy brisket pho.
We also shared an order of spring rolls – just enough for a bite each. As seems to be standard in restaurants here, the spring rolls came out a while after our pho was delivered to the table. It’s ready when it’s ready!
As is common in pho restaurants, there was a platter of garnishes for us all to share – bean sprouts, onion slices, and, more unusually, some slices of pickled daikon radish. There were also bottles of both Hoisin sauce and Sriracha sauce to add flavor to the broth.
I don’t like cilantro, so I opened up my handy Google translate app and looked for the word “cilantro” in Korean to show to the waiter in order to ask him not to put any cilantro on my pho. As is often the case, “cilantro” turned out to be “실란트로” – sil-lan-tuh-ro! There was no cilantro on my pho, but neither was there any on anyone else’s pho at the table. I have no idea if Pho Bay normally serves cilantro on their pho, as do all the American pho restaurants I’ve eaten in, or if I inadvertently canceled the entire table’s cilantro. Luckily, it was no big loss as none of my family particularly likes cilantro.
Phở Bay is a great place to go if you’re craving good pho and a quick meal while at the mall.
Phở Bay Restaurant at I’Park Mall, Seoul
Hours: Daily, 10:00-22:00
Contact Info: I’Park Mall information desk, with translation service – 02-2012-0082. 4F, 55 Hangang-daero 23-gil, Yongsan-gu
GPS Coordinates: 37.5288539, 126.96404469999993
Directions: Subway Line #1 to Yongsan Station; go to the 4th floor, section 4F, of the mall. If you take a taxi or walk to I’Park Mall, go in the main entrance and ride the escalator to floor 4; Pho Bay is near the big section of restaurants, on a corner space. There are more directions on the I’Park website: http://www.iparkmall.co.kr/language/global_eng_intro5.php