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Evil Penevil

Phở Mr. Nam on Thappraya Road

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Following on a tip in a post on another board,  I checked out a new Vietnamese restaurant,  Phở Mr. Nam (it's Nam who's the Mr.), last night for supper.  It opened a few days ago on Thappraya Road and is attached to Mr. Mac's Hotel (see map below).  I got there about 6.15 p.m. and initially was the only guest.  During the 45 minutes I sat there, five other diners entered.

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Phở Mr. Nam is currently in a soft-opening phase and will officially open in February.  The one-page menu is limited to three types of Vietnamese soup, three sorts of Vietnamese rolls and beverages.  According to the friendly waiter who greeted me and took my order, more dishes will be added in time.   It will also function as a coffee shop called Saigon Cafe.

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Since I've had beef pho dozens of times, I decided to try the crab noodle soup. It was actually crab cake noodle soup (bún riêu).  The waiter explained that there was only a "little bit" crab in the crab cakes, but the soup had many other ingredients.  According to the menu, it contained crab cakes,  fried tofu, shrimp,  pork ribs and pork sausage.   It came with the customary plate of herbs and veggies and a small dish of super-hot chili paste.

It cost 85 baht and a bottle of water was 15 baht.

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As you can see from the pic,  my bowl of bún riêu didn't much resemble the one on the menu.  The pic on the menu is what you would expect crab cake noodle soup to look like. 

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Bún riêu customarily contains tomatoes and mine had none, which may in part account for the lack of red color. However, the main reason is the lack of bún riêu seasoning or Vietnamese crab paste. The broth tasted good, but it was more a pork flavor than crab or seafood. 

A generous helping of the herbs and bean sprouts and a squeeze of lime are crucial components in any Vietnamese soup.

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There was the usual four-flavor condiment tray, except garlic gloves had been substituted for chili oil or powder.

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As befits a new restaurant, everything was clean and shiny.  It seats about 30 people in the enclosed air-conditioned section and another eight outdoors.

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 The main kitchen is in the back, but there's also a front area where the soups are ladled out.

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 The service is friendly and more than attentive.  I saw a waiter wipe off the tops of soft drink cans before pouring the contents into the diners'  glasses.  Now that's elegance!  

Bottom line: Phở Mr. Nam is cheap. cheerful, well-lit and clean. I'll definitely be back to try the beef pho and Vietnamese rolls, despite the bit of a miss with the crab noodle soup. Hopefully a few more dishes will be added once it officially opens.

It's located on Thappraya Road a few hundred meters south of the intersection with Third Road.  If riding the baht bus from central Pattaya, press the buzzer as soon as you reach the Residence Garden Hotel. Here's a map for anyone not familiar with the area.

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There's also a big street sign for Phở Mr. Nam.

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Evil

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