Eve L. in Salt Lake City

The Gluten-Free Gourmand

Un-Phở-gettable Phở at Asia Palace in West Valley City

The closer we get the winter, the more we crave Phở, the aromatic Vietnamese beef noodle soup. We have many places around Salt Lake City to get yourself a decent bowl of Phở; Phở Tay Ho being one of my favorites.  Phở Tay Ho actually was our favorite until we found Asia Palace in West Valley which knocked them right off their pedestal.  Asia Palace doesn’t look like much from the outside, but once inside the aroma of Vietnamese spices hits you.  Every time we’ve gone, the place has been packed with Vietnamese people – usually a good sign.  The service is fantastic too.

Condiments -Sriracha, Hot Chili oils and pastes, and hoisin

Asia Palace gives you the basic Phở condiments, Sriracha and Hoisin sauce, along with some extras we love such as the hot chili oil, chili paste, and fish sauce.  Here we don’t like to add any condiments to the broth as I feel it would ruin the perfect flavor of the broth, but at other restaurants I go pretty heavy on the chili oil.  I do, however, mix my Sriracha and Hoisin into a little dish for a dipping sauce for the steak.  If I feel extra snazzy, I throw in some chili oil.  The hubby never has any rhyme or reason for how he puts together his dipping sauce, but it’s always fantastic.

Phở: to warm your soul

About five minutes after ordering, they’ll bring out your Phở with the typical plate of garnishes: bean sprouts, basil, culantro, lime, and hot chilies (usually jalapeno).  Many places around the valley will skimp out and not serve the culantro, so we really appreciate the addition of the herb here.  The Phở itself comes already garnished with tons of green onion, red onion, and cilantro leaves.  The hubby orders the Phở with rare beef and asks for his beef to be served raw on the side so that he can control it’s cooking in the boiling hot broth.  It’s really a smart move, especially if you like your steak medium rare.  I ordered the rare beef with meatballs.  I like their meatballs here, they’re flavorful and dense but not so chewy like some places.

Do you have a Phở eating ritual?  I do.  It goes like this:

  1. Taste the broth.  Savor it and judge if it needs any extra help.  At Asia Palace, I find that it’s perfect, and the only things I add come from the plate of fresh garnishes – no need for condiments.
  2. Fill a little dish half with Sriracha and Hoisin.  Add chili oil if snazzy-feeling.
  3. I don’t like bean sprouts, but the hubby does.  They seem best if you add them immediately while the broth is boiling hot.  He likes to pick up the noodles a bit to get the sprouts underneath the noodles, this makes them cook up a bit more.
  4. Add whatever you like from the fresh garnishes.  I squeeze a little bit of lime, add a generous amount of basil and culantro leaves, and drop one jalapeno slice in.
  5. Go to town on that Phở.  Noodles may need a little bit of in-bowl cooking, so I start sipping up broth and dipping my steak in the broth.  Then I slurp those noodles like no one’s business.  Don’t worry about being polite while trying to eat those noodles.  I’ve heard some people recommend that you try to place the noodles in the spoon first to make it more dignified, but I think it’s way too much work and gives the broth too much time to cool in that spoon.
Asia Palace is apparently good for many other things, not just Phở, so we’ll have to check that out.  I saw that they have deep fried quail on the menu, one of our favorites, so we’ll need to try that.  Also, the seafood hot pot looks promising as well.

Asia Palace on Urbanspoon

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One comment on “Un-Phở-gettable Phở at Asia Palace in West Valley City

  1. Pingback: Phở 33 in Midvale « Eve L. in Salt Lake City

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This entry was posted on 2011-10-15 by in Affordable dining and tagged , .

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