I have no expertise in determining whether a bowl of pho is good or bad, I pronounce the word “pho” like I’m about to say a really bad word, while most of my friends say, “foe.” I don’t think I’ll ever be sure which is actually correct. For these reasons, it baffled me that I was on the invite list (along with a few other Spoon Boston writers) to attend a free tasting at SaPa Modern Vietnamese.
Luckily for me, SaPa caters to the needs of pho novices like myself. Harnessing the flavors of Boston’s Chinatown allowed SaPa’s owner, Ky Nguyen, to recreate the flavors he grew up with in his home city of Saigon, where everything was made fresh daily. And thankfully, us Bostonians are just a quick T ride to Cleveland Circle away from experiencing Nguyen’s expertise in traditional Vietnamese cuisine whenever we would like.
If you find yourself hungry near Cleveland Circle, call on SaPa to fill that void and try out these menu items we had the privilege of trying:
Pho (of course):
Again, not an expert, but I do know that the pho at SaPa tastes awesome. I got the braised beef pho in beef broth (there’s also a vegetarian option with tofu and vegetable broth). The noodles were fantastic and the beef was great. Most importantly, as Nguyen stressed, the broth had been simmering for 24 hours, just like it always was when he was growing up.
After the pho was brought out, we were served a few appetizers. There were both pork and veggie egg rolls served with a sweet, garlic-y dipping sauce that I wanted to take home with me. Nguyen credits his mother with the egg roll recipe, just another thing that he is happy to share with the patrons of his restaurant.
My favorite item from the tasting was the spicy Sriracha wings. Once you get past the inevitable mess that comes with chicken wings and the kick of chili, these wings will not disappoint you. Delicious!
Along with our meal, we were given the option of having Thai iced tea or Vietnamese iced coffee. Both are perfect if you want something different and sweet to go along with the numerous options SaPa offers. For these reasons and these dishes, SaPa Modern Vietnamese gets the Spoon Boston Seal of Approval.
Location: 1952 Beacon Street, Brighton, MA 02135
Hours of Operation: Sun-Wed 11 am-10 pm , Thurs 11 am-11 pm, Fri-Sat 11 am-1 am
Need more pho? Check out: