• Restaurants
  • Asian
  • Vietnamese
Ma Ke
39 Shenlu Jie
So they’ve got their puns down pat. Does their broth hold up?
Meh. Even though it’s the headliner, their pho (50RMB) was the least inspiring of the two we tried. It’s akin to a hearty beef noodle soup, rather than the layered, subtly spiced broth that it should be. The beefy flavour isn’t delicate or subtle – it smacks you full in the face.

I like dishes from all over Southeast Asia, are there any other treats in store for me?
Thanks for asking! In actual fact, the menu traverses Southeast Asia with a fairly exhaustive itinerary. Malaysian curry rolls (38RMB) pack plenty of savoury beef in flaky, fried spring rolls, and the Thai cold vermicelli noodles (moong noodles; 48RMB) are jolted into life with a vinegary dressing and some awesome pork neck. Finally, their signature red wine and pepper marinated brisket (68RMB) is definitely worth coming back for.

I’m assuming it looks the part…
The food generally is very well presented, though don’t let that inflate your expectations. The shrimp mango salad (48RMB), for instance, is really just chopped mango with one or two sad-looking prawns hiding in there. And the desiccated Singaporean pepper chicken (88RMB) doesn’t have much flavour at all, leaving the spices to the imagination.

How’s the service?
Smiley. They’ve got a sort of beachfront backpacker vibe going on throughout the place, and the servers really do their best to keep up the friendly, nothing’s-too-much trouble vibe. The restaurant’s a little bit of a jumble, but real effort has gone into making you feel at home
Venue name: PHOnominal
Opening hours: 11am-10pm Mon-Thurs 11am-11pm Fri-Sun
English address: 39 Shenlu Jie, Chaoyang district
Chinese address: 朝阳区神路街39号
  • 4 out of 5 stars