THE recent rise of Manila’s dining scene has been fueled by the exhilarating openings of restaurants in almost every form and cuisine, and this year the possibilities are endless. The Moment Group, undeniably one of the players (named Restaurateur of the Year in 2013 by Esquire) responsible for uplifting the local scene with the success of unique and concept-driven restaurants ‘Cue, BurgerBar, 8Cuts and NamNam, is bringing to Manila one of Cebu’s most exciting and promising concepts: the Vietnamese noodle shop Phat Pho.
Phat Pho, a modern street style noodle shop with casual counter style quick service, caused a stir in Cebu when it opened less than a year ago, and now Manila will get to experience its flavorful dishes and enjoyable vibe. “This was something we personally loved from Cebu and felt would be great to have in our own backyard [Manila],” says Abba Napa of The Moment Group.
This is The Moment’s Group’s first collaboration with the equally successful Abaca Group of Cebu whose impressive line-up of restaurants include Maya, Tavolata, the new Lebanese restaurant Beqaa and the Abaca Boutique Resort + Restaurant. “The reason we brought Phat Pho to Manila is because we couldn’t resist to not have a cool noodle shop like it in our own backyard. It serves up real and honest fare that everyone can enjoy. Not to mention it is absolutely delicious. Phat Pho adds variety to a dining scene. And that is what we ourselves have always strived to achieve with our own establishments,” adds Abba Napa.
The man behind the Abaca Group and the Phat Pho concept is Jason Hyatt, an American chef who worked and trained all over the world – Paris, Mexico, New York, LA, Malibu (where he worked for Wolfgang Puck for 3 years) and
Hong Kong before settling in Cebu. Using his vast experience and travels he developed concepts of various cuisines and saw a pocket of opportunity for Vietnamese. “I felt Cebu was lacking a dedicated Vietnamese restaurant and there was a market for what we wanted to do. Easy, fast and clean food served at a counter,” says Jason Hyatt of the Abaca Group. The counter style quick serve is an essential part of Phat Pho’s casual and welcoming vibe and evident in the modern semi retro interiors. “Our philosophy is pretty simple, we are not trying to impress you, and everyone is a VIP regardless of last name. It all comes down to food that is prepared with a bit of love,” says Jason Hyatt.
Phat Pho indeed offers exceptionally tasty dishes (phat playfully referring to “pretty hot and tasty”) prepared with love. The menu boasts of classic Vietnamese flavors and ingredients that are simple, flavorful and of the highest quality. Everything on the menu is handmade with the finest local and imported ingredients, beautifully crafted into subtly authentic dishes that are bright, flavorful and healthy, which Vietnamese food is known for. Jason explains what one can expect with the Vietnamese dishes in Phat Pho, “Everything is pretty traditional albeit in our style – we had to get over the regional issues and make the menu appeal to the great common denominator. Is it authentic, not exactly….is it fusion, not at all. We import noodles, fish sauce, wrappers and a few other key ingredients. We grow all the herbs in Abaca [resort], where I have a pretty large herb garden. Beef is all Angus from the States and the rest we get locally.”
In Phat Pho get ready to chow down on goi cuon (rice rolls) with slow roasted pork, chilled shrimp, marinated tofu, and gluten-free dishes like pho xao (wok-fried noodles) and satays, or Phat Pho’s version of the banh mi. And of course there’s the pho, Vietnam’s classic noodle soup – warming, clean and full of flavor. Take your pick from the Pho Bo (classic Vietnamese beef soup with shaved US Angus beef), Pho Ga (Vietnamese chicken noodle soup) or the Pho Special with US Angus beef, braised beef and tendon. Jason says that in a good pho, “the broth is the canvas, noodles and herbs are the texture, the condiments are the color….add as much color as you like!”
With the thrilling tandem of two unstoppable restaurant groups, Moment and Abaca, expect even greater things ahead, but for now, grab your chopsticks and let the pho begin!
Phat Pho Manila is a Moment Group venture, and an Abaca Group concept.
Ground Fl, Serendra, Bonifacio Global City
(02) 843 0820
Daily, 11am – 11pm
Facebook: Phat Pho Manila