Singapore: Long Phung

21 Mar

The standard of Vietnamese food in Singapore is on the whole quite low, compared to countries like Canada, America and Australia with a huge Vietnamese diaspora. It’s even more disappointing given our proximity to our South East Asian neighbour, and how amazing and varied Vietnamese cuisine actually is. In Singapore, my family turns to Long Phung – a cheap, gritty, authentic and always packed restaurant situated on the more seedy stretch (by Singapore standards anyway) of Joo Chiat Road that boosts a huge menu.

When I first started coming here, it was mostly a crowd of Vietnamese ladies of the night and their clients, some Vietnamese students and families living in the area. But on my recent trip I spotted hipsters, and a group of model-esque/Scandinavian looking expats. Say whaat?? Is Joo Chiat the new Holland V?

Condiments on our table.

My drink of choice is always the ca phe sua đa (Vietnamesed iced coffee with milk). Yes it’s a little sweet, but I love it!

Tra đa (Iced tea) is a weak Vietnamese tea with a tint of Vanilla that is commonly served in Vietnam.

Thai coconut 

A light and popular appetiser is the goi cuon (Vietnamese summer rolls), which is perhaps named so as it really tastes like summer in a bite. The rice rolls are stuffed with vermicelli, prawn, pork, lettuce and served with a sweet peanut dipping sauce

I first tried the steamed clams with lemongrass in HCMC and loved the broth. So glad they have it here too.

The gong gong here is served with an addictive sour salt dip, unlike the chilli sauce you get with gong gongs in the hawker centres.

My main of choice is always the pho tai (Rice noodles with rare beef), probably the best in Singapore. The authentic rice paper noodles are super soft! If only the broth was less sweet, it would have been perfect.

The bo kho (spicy beef stew) has beef that is so melt in your mouth. You can get this with rice or noodles.

The canh chua ca (sweet and sour fish stew) is a popular South Vietnam fish stew made with snakehead/catfish, okra, tamarind, pineapple. This one was very sweet! The Vietnamese sure like their stuff sweet. Loved the fried garlic though.

For rice lovers, the com suon + op la (grilled Vietnamese pork chops with rice with egg), a popular main dish also doesn’t disappoint.

Don’t come expecting refined stuff, but authentic, home-cooked Vietnamese food. And with those coffee shop prices, you can try many dishes from their huge menu. Probably as good as Vietnamese food gets in Singapore (for now). Disclaimer: I have not tried the much more posh Nuoc at Orchard Central yet, but prices there are on the high side.

Price: $ (Mains from $5)
Location: 159 Joo Chiat Road
Tel: +65 9105 8519

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