The popularity of pho is rapidly spreading, and here in the Philippines, the pho-nomenon is currently on the rise. Although it is not extremely popular, the pho industry here in the Philippines thrives on certain market niches such as health conscious eaters, diet watchers, food lovers, and the huge Chinese and the growing Korean population.
The first few restaurants made their way to the area not because of high demand but to take advantage of franchise and expansion opportunities. In fact, when the first pho restaurants opened, several people were not familiar with the dish and the types of food served. Most were unsure how the word "pho" should be read. But when the pho restaurants came, they conquered, and eventually, pho became a cultural favorite among families and friends, especially those who love to try culinary varieties and for those who like to experience different culture, with pho being a representative of the Vietnamese, and partly of the Asian, culture.
Pho Hoa Franchise
The most popular pho restaurant in the country today is Pho Hoa, which is part of Pho Hoa franchise headquartered in Northern California. Pho Hoa now has eleven branches scattered across metropolitan Manila and Quezon City, the main branch being the Tomas Morato location in Quezon City. Aside from that, Pho Hoa can also be found in Makati, Greenhills, Libis, and other much farther locations such as Alabang and Pampanga. Some of the locations can be found in malls, enjoying a regular and constant stream of casual diners and mall visitors.
As for the other branches, these are the testimonies of the popularity of pho in the Philippines since customers actually go out of their way to visit these locations. Pho Hoa is currently the leading pho restaurant in the country, serving authentic and enticing pho dishes and other Vietnamese culinary treats. The food offered are truly Vietnamese and when you eat there, you can smell and feel the flavor of exotic pho in the air, completing your Vietnamese culinary experience. read more about Pho Hoa franchise.
Pho Bac Metro Manila.
Photo courtesy RonnieR, skyscrapercity.com.
Following not far behind in terms of popularity is Pho Bac. Pho Bac has often been compared with Pho Hoa. Even if a lot of customers still prefer Pho Hoa, Pho Bac has its own unique offers.
Noticeably, the Pho Bac restaurant interior feels a little homier than most Pho Hoa branches. Pho Hoa has a casual air, while Pho Bac feels cozier. A lot of pho lovers seem to prefer the casual atmosphere for eating pho because it livens up the experience, but the Pho Bac locations have their own appeal.
Comments about Pho Bac vary; some find that it lacks the authentic Vietnamese touch and the food is not as good as those served in Pho Hoa. On the other hand, for those who want to be able to enjoy Vietnamese food for the taste and not as a food expert or a culinary critic will definitely find the Pho Bac menu tempting and comfortable at the same time.
Aside from Pho Hoa and Pho Bac, Pho 24 is also gaining popularity among Filipino and Filipino-Chinese eaters. Pho 24, like Pho Hoa, is another popular international pho franchise brand headquartered in Saigon, Vietnam. It has a branch in Makati, with the restaurant brightly lit and decorated in Southeast Asian theme to stay true to Vietnam's culture.
The food is great and authentic, though in terms of popularity, it has not yet reached Pho Hoa's level since the latter came to the country earlier. Pho 24's mall-based location, however, helps it bring in a steady flow of customers looking for Asian food, noodles, or simply something different. Read more about Pho 24 franchise.
Now, gone were the days when the people in the Philippines were baffled at the exotic-looking restaurants with the unusual names. The pho scene in the Philippines is on a continuous growth spurt. The niches are also starting to break, as more and more people become acquainted with pho and definitely hooked to it. The battle for pho supremacy in the Philippines may have already started.