For the long time readers of my blog, you probably know I’m a very avid fan of Pho, the delicious Vietnamese noodle soup that has cured hangovers, sadness, broken hearts and empty stomachs from generations to generations. Through the years, good Pho in Wichita has had quite a cult following. Many good options to choose from in this city with a good size Vietnamese base.
I wrote a blog a while ago ranking Pho places in Wichita but now it’s time to go back and review each one separately to see how they’ve changed or improved over the years.
One of the more popular Pho places on the northeast side of town is Pho Hot Bistro located at 306 N Rock Road, between Central and Douglas. They’ve been open for close to six years now. I went in there with a family member a while ago to see how it fared to other hot spots.
Pho Hot Bistro has a more upscale look to it than any other Pho restaurant you’ll find in the city. Most other places have “dive appeal” and this is ritzier than a dive.
Going through the menu, they offer many Vietnamese staples like vermicelli noodles (Bun), fried rice, rice platters, fish meals, and crawfish (seasonally) but let’s face it. 90% of the time you step into a Pho restaurant, it’s because you want to order Pho so that’s what we ordered.
Starting off with the “Summer Rolls” as an appetizer, which is their take on the Spring Roll; we were very underwhelmed by them. The shrimp summer rolls had fresh shrimp and cooled down noodles inside but were not as soft as you would find at other places when made to order.
So how about the Pho? Going into this review, I kept my expectations low based on previous experiences there. Unfortunately this go around was all the same. We were quite let down. The broth was more on the bland side. The meat quality was good but the broth is really what makes the Pho go. Even with added hoisin sauce and sriracha, it wasn’t enough to really make the Pho above average.
Final verdict for us was the service was great. I’ve read reviews on how bad the service is and that’s never been an issue for me. The price is $7 for the regular size bowl so decent but not great. Then the food was just not outstanding. There are better options in the city but if you live on the northeast side your options are limited to Pho Hot Bistro which could be convenient for you or Pho Cuong which was reviewed here last year.