Do you know there’s a little Vietnam in our sunny island? Neither did I – until a couple of days back.
I had a serious craving for Vietnamese food after a leisure chat with my Saigon buddy – who by the way had never share my love for Vietnamese food or anything Vietnamese for that matter . But hey, I could always count on her for a quiet evening in the steakhouse or a crazy time at the sky bar.
I learnt about little Vietnam after doing a quick search online for authentic Vietnamese food in Singapore. So….off I went !
The stall was packed pretty early in the evening – business IS good. Long Phung is a no frills/cramp/warm place – exactly like the roadside seafood joints I use to frequent in Saigon. The clientele includes many Vietnamese which is a good sign.
The food offering is really authentic (not just the usual boring pho and spring rolls) – I had a hard time deciding what to order! See the seafood options on the right- i thought these dishes only exist in Vietnam!
I had a nice conversation with the lady boss (Chi Lan). Chi Lan is from Ho Chi Minh City but she moved to Singapore 14 years ago with her family. She started Long Phung 2+ years ago and has plans to expand the store given that business is really good!
She proudly told me that her food is 100% authentic and she did not make any tweaks to suit the local palate. However, she faced challenges getting some of the Vietnamese ingredients like broken rice (An inferior grade of rice with a sticky texture) and had to substitute them with what is available in Singapore.
I ordered 2 of my favorite Vietnamese dishes to go.
NGHEU HAP SA (SHELLFISH steamed with citronella herb) - This is one of my favourite seafood dishes in Saigon. We usually had to double order this everywhere we went. Long Phung’s version was tasty but the chef was a tad too generous with the soup which eventually underplayed the taste of lemongrass and chili padi. The shellfish were definitely not as plump as the ones in Saigon too.
HU TIEU KHO (DRY NOODLE) – I always refer to this as Vietnam’s version of Ba Chor Mee – I like the fresh and wide variety of ingredients used (READ: prawn, quail egg, pork, innards etc). Oh and most importantly, there is no mint leave used in the dish (My archnemesis in all Vietnamese food). Long Phung’s hu tieu kho is EXCELLENT. It tasted exactly like the popular stalls in D11. The bowl of soup was very flavourful as well.
CAFE SUA DA (ICED COFFEE with evaporated milk) - Of course I had to wash down all the food with a cup of iced coffee. It was a little diluted since I drank it only when I got home.
Overall, Long Phung serves authentic & frills free Vietnamese food. The restaurants in little Vietnam look and feel so much like the roadside seafood places in Saigon. This is YOUR place if you are looking for good Vietnamese food (Trust me, this is MUCH better than the localized Vietnamese restaurants downtown)
I’m so glad I found a little piece of Saigon in Singapore!
Long Phung Vietnamese Restaurant
Tel: +65 9105 8519
Opening Hours: 1pm – 2am
Add: 159 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore
Spend: $16.50 (for all 3 items ordered). No service charge, no GST.