ba noi's is a new vietnamese restaurant along perea street in legazpi village. since i love pho and will never say no to a bowl of beef pho noodles, susie and i decided to have dinner there a couple of weeks back.
the place was simple and pleasant. the crew friendly enough. i enjoyed their fried spring rolls, and the pho bo was yummy, despite the reviews that said it was bland. i had forgotten what susie ordered, but he enjoyed it, too. we went out of ba noi's then with satisfied smiles on our mugs.
banking on that first experience, we decided to have lunch there last saturday.
it started out well enough: the place wasn't too packed, and the waitress gave us our menus; she was still attentive enough. we ordered the shrimp pomelo salad as our starter, and i got a pho bo again (because i loved it the first time), and susie finally got to try the lemongrass chicken (which wasn't available last time).
our salad arrived on time, but it wasn't anything special. it wasn't bad, but i wouldn't sing praises about it, either. i didn't mind much, because i knew the pho bo would make up for it.
this time, ba noi's decided not to prove the reviews wrong. the broth came warm, not hot, and was bland. the basil and lime they provided didn't give it enough flavor, so i asked for more. it took the waitress about 15 minutes to give me my additional spices, and by then, the broth had turned lukewarm.
a really good bowl of pho can turn my mood around, but at the same time, a really bland (bad) one can turn me into a monster. this was not helped by the fact that susie's order had not come, even when i was halfway through my bowl (and i was eating it very slowly since i didn't really like how it tasted). all around us, people who had just come in were already feasting on their dishes, while poor susie had to wait with a grumbling stomach.
we followed it up with the staff, who just nodded and went back to the counter. the dish came after about 10 minutes or so. by this time, i had given up on my bowl, and i decided to order the fried spring rolls so we can at least have something nice to eat. unfortunately, the dish never came even after susie had finished his food.
so we just paid for the bill (we didn't have to wait long for that, how nice) and left a note about how disappointed we were, complete with name and number. no response from them yet. doesn't matter, though. we're never going back there again.