Vietnamese pho restaurant opens in Darien offering traditional fare

DARIEN — Residents itching for their pho fix in town don’t have to look any further than Post Road, where a new Vietnamese restaurant opened earlier this year.

Pho Fans started serving Darien in February, co-owners Sherry Dong and Perry Zhang said. The restaurant offers traditional Vietnamese fare in the space formerly occupied by Steam Darien.

The owners, who are both from Vietnam, started Pho Fans with the intention of offering fresh Vietnamese food made without too much salt or oil, they said.

“We wanted to bring healthy food to Darien, because there’s not too many Vietnamese restaurants here,” Zhang said.

Most dishes on the menu include variations of pho, a staple Vietnamese soup dish made with broth and rice noodles, Zhang said. Pho Fans serves the dish with multiple meat and vegetable combinations.

Zhang said he recommends appetizers like the shrimp summer rolls or the classic crispy spring rolls. The Vietnamese drop iced coffee — made with specialty condensed milk — is also a favorite, Zhang said.

Menu highlights include the grilled lemongrass spare ribs, multiple vermicelli dishes and dumplings.

But the pho dishes are the restaurant’s main draw. The broth is simmered for 10 to 12 hours for maximum flavor and avoids using powders or preservatives, Zhang said.

“It’s really hard to make the soup by yourself at home,” Zhang said.

Both Dong and Zhang said business has been steady, especially during the weekends, given that they are located on a bustling main road. They are open from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. daily.

The Darien location employs seven workers, but more part-time employees work during the busier weekend rush, Dong said.

Both owners are longtime restaurateurs — Dong has been in the business for 30 years, she said.

The owners have another location on Long Island, which opened in 2019 and is currently being run by family members, they said.

The Long Island location received enough praise — and inquiries about a second location — that when a friend alerted them about an open space in Darien, they jumped at the chance to open a Connecticut shop, Zhang said.

“We love it here,” Dong said, noting that many customers who have filtered in over the past few months have come from Greenwich, New Canaan and Stamford. “People are so nice.”