Even those in Jeonju, the Korean food capital, long to take a break with foreign fare from time to time. For the past two years, the city has been enjoying a burst of new foreign eateries, including Spanish tapas, taco joints, and a spattering of Indian and Southeast Asian shops. Among the latter, the newest is perhaps the best: Pho Bos, a massive Vietnamese restaurant in Jeonju’s residential Inhundong district.
Those who have traveled or lived in Vietnam may know that many of the best foods come for the price of peanuts from small, unassuming roadside shops or stalls, so the sparkling lavishness of this mammoth chain restaurant could cause skepticism. Surprisingly, though, the expansive menu hits its mark (and maybe not for “peanuts,” but for a lot less than we would expect!). Some of the highlights (besides the obvious pho) include the Vietnamese-style spicy sweet-and-sour chicken, which falls more on the spicy side, the pineapple shrimp fried rice, and the “bun bo xao,” which is much like a noodle-based bibimbap. For those with the DIY spirit, Pho Bos also offers heaping platters of ingredients and rice paper to make your own spring rolls, along with a side plate of delectably marinated braised meats.
While the location of the restaurant is out-of-the-way for many in the city, it’s certainly worth the trip. Portion sizes are more than ample and prices range from about 9,000 to 12,000 won per person for a base meal. For more information on the menu, see the website for all Korean franchises: phobos.co.kr.