Tuesday 5 August 2014

Moc Quan – Flavours of Ho Chi Minh City in Singapore [MEDIA INVITE]

Moc Quan
Thank you very much to Jeff Koh the Owner / Chef of Moc Quan for the invitation.

Jeff is a self-taught Chef who believe that the best way to experience Vietnam is through their street food. Each of the dedicated Street Food Chefs, spend their whole life mastering / perfecting their craft in delivering their own version of their dish. Over the past three years Jeff has explore Vietnam and learnt from these Chefs their secret recipe and found love and passion for Vietnamese street food along the way. After several years of learning, he finally feels that he is ready to bring back the flavours of Ho Chi Minh for us to savour in Singapore.

Located near Robertson Quay, Moc Quan look to capitalise on the office lunch crowd and popular after work masses in Robertson Quay area.

Entrance from the Mall - So New, the signage still not ready

Vietnamese Umbrellas

Table Setting - Indoor

The decoration of the restaurant is heavily influenced by traditional Vietnamese elements with many antiques décor that the owner took much effort in sourcing and importing from Vietnam. The many interesting décors are the Vietnamese Trishaws outside the restaurant, Vietnamese Traditional umbrellas, utensils, bamboo food covers on each tables and even traditional milkmaid's yoke (a.k.a. Carrying pole) on display. To serenade you during your dining here, Vietnamese's oldies music are played in the background. The atmosphere kind of remind me of one Anthony Bourdan Travel Series Episode when they visited the last Vietnamese Emperor Villa in Vietnam.

Outdoor Seating

Vietnamese Trishaws 

Milkmaid's yoke (a.k.a. Carrying pole)

While waiting for LD to come, I started with Ca Phe Sua Da (Vietnamese Coffee with Condensed Milk (Ice) - $3.50). The coffee is thick and smooth. It really perked me up.

Ca Phe Sua Da

For starters, we had Goi Cuon and Bo La Lot. Both are fresh Vietnamese spring roll filled with herbs and rice, with different fillings. Goi Cuon has Prawn and Pork fillings and served with homemade black bean sauce, while Bo La Lot with beef and pork served with special homemade sauce. ($8 for 4 pcs each). The fresh spring roll (also known as rice paper roll) has a slightly springy texture, but the freshness of the ingredients really shines here, especially with each of their unique dipping sauce.

Goi Cuon

Bo La Lot

Next on the menu is Banh Canh Cua (Thai Rice Noodle in Crab and Pork Broth served with Crab Meat - $9.90). We are really glad that Chef Jeff serve this dish. The broth is rich and sweet, with similar taste profile as Singapore Prawn Noodle Soup. The rice noodle is springy, and the condiments of crab meat, fried bean curd, pork and bean spout gave a good mix of texture. Watch out for the chilli, which will give you a slow after burn according to LD.

Banh Canh Cua

Banh Canh Cua

Banh Mi Thit (Baguette with Vietnamese Sausage and Ham, homemade pork pate - $6.50). To make this baguette, they brought the oven and flour from Vietnam. The result, the amazing crisp and light texture of the baguette. Unlike the French version, the baguette is not dense in the middle. The homemade pate is good, with a meat loaf texture. We only find that the pickle vegetables is slightly timid, as not to overwhelm the Singapore palate. We hope they can be bolder with the pickle.

Banh Mi Thit

From the seafood selection, we had Tom Nuong (BBQ King Prawns Marinated in a special homemade Sauce - $16.00). The prawns are fresh and huge. It is cut through the middle and the intestinal track are removed. The marinate is just right and the grilled perfectly. Delicious, but presentation is too simple. Salads or pickled vegetables on the side will help to improve the presentation of this dish.

Tom Nuong

Of course the tasting in a Vietnamese Restaurant won't be complete without trying the Pho. We tried Pho Bo (Fresh Vietnamese Rice Noodle – Mixed – $9.50). The ingredients looks good and generous, but the broth is on the sweet side (a bit too sweet to LD's liking). It is unfortunate the broth is not steaming hot enough when its poured to the rice noodle, resulting the sliced beef took quite a while to cook and turns chewy. The brisket is slightly tender, but it can use some more cooking time. We find the Pho can be improved.

Pho Bo - Mixed

Pho Bo - Mixed

Overall, we are very happy with some of the dishes we tried, especially the Banh Canh Cua and Banh Mi Thit. With a little bit more of fine tuning, the rest of the dishes will be equally good. So if you are looking to experience Ho Chi Minh food, give this place a try. Cheers!!

Food & Drink: 7.5/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: N/A
Ambiance: 7.5/10

Moc Quan
81 Clemenceau Avenue,
#01-23 UE Square Shopping Mall
Singapore 239917

T: +65 6736 0123
W: http://www.mocquan.com.sg/
F: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Moc-Quan/650215378386398?fref=ts
OH: Everyday, 9am to 11pm

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