A colleague raving about the chicken noodles and banh mi convinced me to join them during of their the lunch time trips to check out Trung Ngyuen at International Plaza (which by the way always reminds me of my student days coming down to sign up for holiday jobs or going upstairs for medical check-ups).
This place has a simple set up, and menu listed at the entrance near the cashier. Order at the cashier, and they will issue you the “flashing disc” to call your turn when your food is ready. If you do order spring rolls, just grab the pre-wrapped ones from the counter.
Time to mix and match the condiments! Self-service here!
Here is my order of the chicken noodles soup and spring rolls. Definitely ordered too much. Portion of the chicken noodles is quite large. Taste wise, a bit on the bland side for me. Noodles was nice and soft though. However at $6.90, if I have a hankering for noodles soup, I’ll be heading off to the nearest food court or hawker centre for a bowl of fish/beef noodles at $4-$5, imo a more satisfying option in this area.
Spring rolls are well-stuffed and huge, prawns are fresh but having been sitting on the counter chilling in the shrink-wrap, I was the only one willing to try out (the rest of the guys abandoned me). The dipping sauce could have been stronger to lift the taste of the spring roll which was somewhat tilting towards bland because of the immense portion of rice noodles and no other strong flavors.
The beef banh mi. Quite nice actually, tightly stuffed and rolled baguette. Bread toasted nicely and not soggy from the vegetables.
The chicken version for the banh mi. Both versions are nice, although I wished the stuffing was all the way to the end of the sandwich instead of 3/4 way through.
Overall for the pho and spring rolls, I much prefer Long Phung in Joo Chiat. However that is not very feasible time-wise to rush down for weekday lunches unless we are in the area. Still it is much better than Orange Lantern at Killiney, which is nowhere close in taste, quality and friendliness of the staff here.
The way seats are packed of seats within the space makes for really narrow aisles. We ended up having to move our chairs each time someone walked past. (There was a couple with a baby stroller who had a really hard time trying to weave their way in with no space to park the stroller without blocking the passageway).
Trung Nguyen Coffee
International Plaza, #01-31.