Thursday, October 2, 2008

Pho Hoa's Veg Options + PAWS takes over Eastwood: Vegan MoFo #2

Today I had the opportunity to have lunch at Eastwood, Libis, which is like my 3rd time to go to this place (I'm a sheltered Southerner, so sue me). On the way to the restaurant I saw this:

It's things like this and the Philippine Animal Welfare Society's beauty beyond breed public service announcements that warm my vegan heart and give me hope that the Philippines is becoming more humane to animals. I'm especially loving this PSA because the cat in the ad looks like my Lucky. Here's another pet-friendly poster right outside Pho Hoa:

How come there isn't any PAWS propaganda in the Alabang area, or in Serendra, or anywhere else? PAWS, please come to Alabang!

Anyway, it's pretty sad that most Southeast Asian food is vegetarian and vegan friendly while Filipino food always is meat-centric. Pho Hoa's menu didn't just have leaves (aka salad) for the veg option; it had pho soup, spring rolls, fried tofu, stir-fried vegetables, etc. Great thing about it too is that it costs about P300 or less to get a full meal.

Last time I ate at Pho I got the vegetarian pho, which is essentially boiled salted water over vegetables, mushrooms, a piece of tofu, and rice noodles. The fresh togue (mung bean sprouts) gave the crunch and fresh basil leaves gave the flavor to the broth.

This time I ordered the fresh spring rolls with hoisin-peanut sauce and the fried tofu with a bell-pepper mushroom sauce.

The rice paper rolls were made of rice noodles, tofu, carrots, cucumber, and basil and cilantro leaves. Semi-tasteless on its own but was outstanding with the sauce. The basil and cilantro was a nice addition, giving it a fresher, cleaner taste. I'm glad they used herbs for the greens instead of tasteless salad leaves.

The batter of the fried tofu usually has egg in it but the server was able to have the dish made egg-free. It was akin to Japanese agedashi tofu with a golden panko breadcrumb crust, smothered in a Vietnamese gravy of red peppers and mushrooms.

It would've been perfect with steamed rice and stir fried vegetables with the tofu but it was good on its own. I ate this with hoisin sauce and Sriracha sauce.

Phoa Hoa Philippine branches can be found here. I hope that restaurants in the area become more and more veg friendly.


Bex said...

those look tasty and great presentation.

Bethany said...

mmmm... anything that tastes like aga dashi is alright w/ me ;-).

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