Nghi Ngan Quan - quantity but not quality

Nghi Ngan Quan was my favourite Vietnamese restaurant for weekend lunches until I found this place.  That was nearly two years ago.  When my brother called me up for lunch and said he was going to Nghi Ngan Quan, I jumped at the opportunity to revisit one of my favourites.

I barely recognised the place when I stepped in.  It used to actually look like a Vietnamese restaurant that served Pho and Combination rice.  Now, it looks more like a haberdashery outlet thats got tacky ornaments, mirrors, water fountains, paintings and furniture that just doesn't look right.  Anyway, on with the food!

People who know me know that I can eat for at least 2 people.  I usually order an extra large Pho along with a combination broken rice for lunch.  But today, I was extra hungry and wanted to eat their combination cold roll dish (serving for 2).  So I ordered the extra large Pho and one of the combination cold rolls to share with my Mum.

Extra large combination beef noodle (Pho)
Extra large combination beef noodle (Pho)
The bowl of Pho was very large, just like I remembered it to be.  First thing is to taste the broth.... it was delicious.  Lots of flavour and not watered-down like many of the other restaurants.  Plenty of meatballs, tripe and tendon, however, lack of noodles... very disappointing.  I would estimate the amount of noodles in this extra large Pho was similar to a 'baby-Pho' at other restaurants.  Full marks for taste, but when I order extra large Pho, I want noodles... not just soup and meat.

Combination - Make your own cold rolls, the veggies
Combination - Make your own cold rolls, the meat
Ok, while I was slurping away on my noodles, the combination cold roll dish arrived.  For those who don't know, this dish is basically accompanied by a bowl of rice paper and hot water, where you have to make your own cold rolls with the above veggies and meat.  Yes, very messy, but definitely worth the effort!  The above dish easily made 20 cold rolls..... my Mum said she made 5, I guess I had the additional 15.

A few things to note, quantity wise, definitely a great meal for $22.  Veggies are fresh, and plentiful. The sauce that comes with the meal is a little bit bland, compared to other places.  Roast pork skin was unfortunately soft and chewy, not crispy at all.  The Chargrilled Pork Balls had too much pepper, and tasted like cardboard + sugar.  Sugarcane prawn was also 'meh'.  The ginger stir-fry pork in the middle was very dry, but lots of flavour.

Vermicelli with sugar cane and grilled pork balls
The vermicelli with sugar cane prawn and pork balls is always a safe dish to order at any Vietnamese restaurant in summer.  Lots of fresh lettuce, cold vermicelli and a nice sweet fish chilli fish sauce.  My wife wasn't able to finish the entire bowl, so I had alot of the left overs.  This dish uses the same peppery pork balls I disliked from the combination cold rolls, so not something I'd recommend.

Broken rice special
My brother ordered the combination broken rice was a massive dish that came out, lots of meats, but sadly the roast pork skin was again soft and not crunchy.

In summary, it was a bit of a disappointment, but for me, it provided closure in that I still highly recommend this place for Vietnamese Pho, combination broken rice or any other Vietnamese dish.  Nghi Ngan Quan is a great place if you are hungry, and don't want to spend too much as their servings are quite large.  Service is prompt, and friendly.

Hayes gives Nghi Ngan Quan 11.5/20 chops on the Chopping Board.

Ambience: 2.5/5 - the decor is quite tacky.  I rather the typical baby blue coloured walls, glass tables and loud Vietnamese MTV being played on old TVs
Service: 3.5/5
Food: 5.5/10

Nghi Ngan Quan on Urbanspoon


  1. What would your rating out of 10 be purely for the pho?

    1. I could easily give it a 9 or 9.5 if it had more noodles. I was seriously shocked when I saw how little the amount of noodles there was in that massive bowl.

    2. Yeah i rate the pho about a 9 myself, its the main reason i go there and i think their pho is the best ive been able to find in Adelaide. The rest of the review was good as usual on this blog! Good work

    3. Have you been to Hoang Gia Quan? I like their base better because it has a bit of an onion taste to it, their five spices is a little bit more prominent. Whereas NQQ's base is just a sweet-stock taste.

      Plus each time, HGQ, I walk out full and satisfied because they put quite a lot of noodles in the bowl. It must have been an off day for NQQ with my bowl?

    4. I agree. NQQ used to be great until they expanded. Not saying expanding isn't good but I noticed the food quality went down. I also only head to Hoang Gia for Pho and rice. I also think that their other dishes are all quite good too!

  2. I use to go about 2 or 3 times a week until they renovated the place. The food I find is average and it's just way too busy now. Not worth the wait. My favourite place for Pho is Pho75 on Days Road. Yen Linh has a good combination vermicelli salad too :)

    1. Pho75 is ok but has changed quite alot over these years, Yen Lin was one of favourites, until I found Hoang Gia Quan.


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