QUE – Modern Vietnamese Food in Orchard Road
On a hot Wednesday afternoon, we visited Que in 111Somerset which is just about a few minutes walk away from Somerset MRT. It’s easy to spot the kiosk because it sports a bright orange signboard.
I first learnt about them when they were still a kopitiam stall in Toa Payoh. They have recently moved to 111Somerset. It might be a kiosk, but there are seats for us to enjoy our dinner. And if you are lucky enough to sit at the counter, you get to see the open kitchen where your food is prepared freshly upon each order.
You can opt for their fresh Spring Rolls ($5.50), or the fried version ($6.50). The fresh spring rolls come in 3 variations — signature pork, prawn or mixed (1 prawn and 1 pork). It has an addictively springy bite, due to the thin rice paper wrapping. The lettuce adds a refreshing crunch, which is complemented by the soft rice vermicelli. The home-made soya sauce on the side lends a lovely sweetness to the spring rolls.
I love the rice paper fried spring rolls wrapped with ground pork and served with lime on the side. It is handmade in limited quantity in-house. This deliciously crispy snack is the perfect accompaniment to their signature pho.
When it comes to comfort food, there’s nothing quite like a steaming bowl of pho. Pho is the sacred noodle soup of Vietnam. But where do we get a bowl of good pho? Judging from the number of Vietnamese restaurants in Singapore, the search for authentic and delicious pho can be overwhelming.
Que is definitely a wonderful choice as they have been dishing out great bowls of pho day and night to eager patrons since a while ago. The fragrant broth, tender meat and silky noodles keep the loyal fans coming back.
The menu consists of a selection of Pho – Original Mixed Beef Pho ($10.90), or Special Que’s Grilled Pork Pho ($11.50). The beef pho is a crowd favourite and the bestseller. It features super fresh rice noodles and thinly sliced beef in a deeply earthy broth flavoured with traditional herbs.
The dish is garnished with a medley of herbs including spring onion, white onion slice, coriander, culantro, sweet basil, and comes with lime. Feel free to add in the fresh red cut chilli, as you please! The clear broth which is simmered with real bone and meat for more than 8hrs lets its ingredients speak for themself. The ribeye beef slices are tender and the noodles are soft with a delicate chew.You can also treat yourself to an unforgettable bowl of pho by upgrading to wagyu slices(+$9).
Bún Chả Quê
The star of the menu in my opinion is definitely the Bun Cha Que. Feel free to impress the owner by pronouncing its full name Bún Thịt Nướng Chả Giò Quê if you could when placing an order. No, it’s not the same as Bun Cha Ha Noi in case you wonder. The “short form” of the dish was lovingly created for their loyal fans to help them order the right item before the self ordering kiosk took over back when they were still in Toa Payoh.
If you are to use only 1 word to describe Viet food, that would be “balanced”. You can taste sweetness, sourness, bitterness, spiciness and saltiness all in a dish. In terms of presentation, there’s red, green, yellow, white and black colours present in a dish. In terms of nutrition, each dish strikes a balance with carbs, fat, protein, minerals and water. Bún Thịt Nướng Chả Giò possesses all the named balances.
For this item, Que has three options – Grilled Pork Bun Cha (starting from $8.90), Grilled Beef Bun Cha (starting from $13.90) and Vegan Bun Cha (starting from $8.50), and close to 10 optional items including fried egg, fried spring rolls, fresh spring rolls, broccoli, more meat etc. For the base, you can choose from bún tươi, rice, or salad. They make sure you go home belly-happy!
Expect European pork collar with the right amount of fat and lean meat, handmade fried spring rolls, bún tươi, fried shallot, crushed peanut, fresh herbs and vegetables. But it is the Nước Mắm Pha at Que as nước chấm (dipping sauce) that brings it all together. The most important element of this dish is the amber-colored fish sauce. Vietnam makes fish sauce of the highest quality, and Que’s nước chấm obviously uses one of the best fish sauces out there as base. Adding nước chấm onto my Grilled Pork Bun Cha makes it a clean and bright bowl of the famed oriental salad. Served over thin fresh Vietnamese noodles, the phenomenally-flavorful grilled pork was tender, hot, juicy, and bustling with the right flavors while hitting all the right notes. Even now as I am sitting in my room typing this, I find myself craving for it.
Meats are traditionally used as the main ingredients in Bún Thịt Nướng Chả Giò. If you are up for something new and healthier, try their new seasonal fish Bun Cha with Salmon. Add on Smoked Salmon to experience the perfect marriage of East and West.
One of my most memorable moments in Vietnam was getting lost in the ancient town of Hoi An. I eventually missed my cooking class but ended up at the best Vietnamese banh mi shop, as featured on No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain.
If you haven’t tried a classic banh mi, imagine the savouriness and crunch of a bacon sandwich, topped off with a generous sprinkling of fresh coriander, which cleanses your palate and leaves a stinging sensation all at once.
Que’s banh mi might look like a cultural revolution based on its presentation, but in actual fact, it is still the classic street-vendor Vietnamese-French sandwich, with additional wedges (+ $3.50) on the side if you like. I love the Banh Mi Pork ($8.90) which sees a slim baguette stacked with intensely flavoured grilled pork, cucumber, carrot and coriander.
Que gets its bread from a local bakery and toasts it briefly, without fracturing it into a thousand shards. It has a right balance of crackle and chew, and is so complex in flavour that I would choose this over any other sandwiches any time.
There are other options as well. Beef lovers should go for the Banh Mi Premium Beef ($9.90) and kids will love the Banh Mi Egg with Chicken Floss ($8.50).
You just can’t leave a Vietnamese eatery without having a creamy, smooth, and rich cup of Vietnamese coffee. The sweet coffee was a nice end to our Vietnamese dinner. The coffee slowly drips from a small metal filter into a cup lined with just the right amount of sweetened condensed milk.
Started out as traditionally as possible in a humble coffeeshop setting, Que has continuously evolved since its inception in 2017 to bring its owner’s personal interpretation of modern Vietnamese food to the locals while still staying true to its authentic core. If you find yourself craving for a different and tasty Vietnamese meal, you know where to go!
Address: 111Somerset, 111 Somerset Road, #01-K10, Singapore 238164
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat : 11:30am - 7:30pm; Sun: 11:30am - 2:00pm