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Exploring the History and Evolution of Pho: A Culinary Journey at Lộ Quậy

Pho, a simple yet profound dish, embodies the essence of Vietnamese cuisine. Its origins, deeply rooted in the northern regions of Vietnam, reflect a blend of historical influences and local traditions. Traditionally, pho is a comforting bowl of broth, rice noodles, herbs, and meat, usually beef or chicken. However, at Lộ Quậy, Chef Quỳnh Brown redefines this iconic dish with a modern twist, infusing it with her extensive background in Japanese and French culinary techniques.


The Traditional Roots of Pho


Pho's history is a tale of cultural intersections. Emerging in the early 20th century in northern Vietnam, it quickly became a staple, beloved for its rich, aromatic broth and simple ingredients. The dish is thought to have origins influenced by both Chinese and French culinary practices, evident in the spices used and the technique of simmering bones to create a clear broth.


Chef Quỳnh Brown's Modern Interpretation


Pho
Pho

At Lộ Quậy, located in the heart of Singapore's vibrant Telok Ayer district, Chef Quỳnh transforms traditional Vietnamese dishes into modern culinary masterpieces. Her version of pho is a deconstruction that honors its traditional roots while pushing culinary boundaries. Instead of the typical bowl of soup, diners at Lộ Quậy are treated to Wagyu beef in various preparations—raw brisket, deep-fried honeycomb, and omasum tripe—accompanied by bean sprout jelly and an intensely flavorful Southern-style pho broth poured tableside.


Beyond Pho: Other Dishes Reimagined


Bánh Mì
Bánh Mì

At Lộ Quậy, the classic Vietnamese sandwich-Bánh Mì is transformed into a petite Iberico Wellington. Kombu butter and Maggi seasoning enhance the flavours of grilled Iberico pork jowl and house-made pork liver pâté, all wrapped in puff pastry and served with Maggi demi-glace and pickled Japanese cucumber.


Whole Sea Bass with Citrus Salad
Whole Sea Bass with Citrus Salad

The Whole Sea Bass with Citrus Salad pays homage to Chef Quỳnh’s time in California. A whole sea bass is flash fried till crispy and served with a unique sauce combining pineapple, fruity aji amarillo pepper, lime, honey, and fermented tofu. This combination brings a sweet-spicy-funky profile that redefines traditional Vietnamese seafood preparations.


The interpretation of pho and bánh mì at Lộ Quậy reflects a broader trend in the culinary world, where chefs revisit their roots to create something entirely new and exciting. Chef Quỳnh Brown’s approach at Lộ Quậy is not just about reimagining Vietnamese cuisine; it’s about transforming it into an art form. Her dishes are testaments to the potential of traditional flavours crafted through modern techniques and presentations. For diners at Lộ Quậy, each meal is a journey through the senses, offering a new perspective on Vietnamese dishes that are both familiar and utterly novel.


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