Food and Drink

Review: Pho & Indian Restaurant delivers on its namesake dishes in South Anchorage

I love the name of Pho & Indian Restaurant, the newly opened eatery in one of South Anchorage’s myriad Dimond-adjacent strip malls. It’s both straightforward and enigmatic, which is quite a cool trick.

I’ll give you three guesses as to what they serve.

The above is kind of a joke, but not entirely. Because during their first few weeks in business, in addition to their namesake Indian food and pho selection, this restaurant was also serving a small but unique menu of Mexican specialties. Specifically, and intriguingly, tlayuda, an iconic Oaxacan street food which is kind of a mashup of pizza and nachos.

I learned this along with my friend Justin Williams of “Justin’s Alaska Eats” when we met in their bright but simple dining room for lunch just days after their official opening. We arrived prepared for tikka masala but couldn’t resist ordering the tlayuda mixta. It was served with a cured, dried meat and was an entirely new experience for me. So, too was the snack of chili-lime flavored grasshoppers that our server graciously offered us. We must have seemed like adventurous eaters. For the record they were crispy, salty, and delicious.

Also delicious was the chicken tikka masala ($16.95) we ordered. The chicken, after a long bath in a yogurt-based marinade, was tender and just a wee bit tangy. And the vibrant, deep red sauce delivered on the flavors it promised.

The shrimp biryani ($18.95) was not quite what I expected. It was missing the more aromatic, almost floral flavors that I associate with a biryani and read more like Mexican rice. It was tasty but it didn’t quite scratch that biryani itch.

Overall, it was a fun, tasty, eclectic lunch, and proof that there’s a lot of diverse culinary know-how in that small kitchen.


Fast forward a couple of months and the restaurant has narrowed its focus to the two types of cuisine in their name and on their sign. My husband and I recently stopped in for a take-out a day before he left town. When I’m flying solo, “leftovers” is my favorite cuisine. In other words, we strategically over-ordered.

The Indian portion of the menu is divided by protein but you can order according to flavor profile. There are curry, masala, karahi, vindaloo, and jalfrezi options for chicken, goat, lamb, and shrimp. But all of these classic preparations are available with either mixed vegetables or paneer if you’re steering away from meat.

We opted for the Bihari kebab chicken wrap, an order of samosa chaat, chicken curry, the chicken malai kebab, and an order of paneer vindaloo. Oh, and of course, I ordered a bowl of chicken pho because … well, because it was on the menu.

We enjoyed both the chicken curry ($19.49) with its mellow gingery finish and the kebab ($17.49) which was tender and flavorful with just the perfect hint of smoky char that only a tandoor can produce. It was served with onions and peppers that were cooked to a perfect sweetness without losing their texture.

Vindaloo ($19.45) is one of my favorite dishes, with its nice balance of sweet, savory, and tang. This was a solid version with generously cut cubes of soft, buttery cheese. Paneer is the perfect vehicle for a decadent sauce. But while this dish had lots of flavor, it lacked the heat that I associate with a vindaloo. I doctored it up — inauthentically I realize — with an obliging jar of chili crisp in my fridge. I should note that I ordered online and while I didn’t see an option for choosing a heat level, there is a comment box. Next time, I’ll ask for more fire and see what happens.

I don’t often talk about the starchy staples that play second fiddle to an entrée but I don’t want to let the fluffy, clove-y jasmine rice or the delicious, flavorful naan to go uncelebrated. We opted for the naan basket ($12.95) which comes with onion, garlic, and cheese varieties. These arrived hot, flaky, and buttery — yet still somehow light — on the night we ordered and they crisped up perfectly in the air fryer the next.

One of my favorite dishes of the night was the samosa chaat ($8.49) — an appetizer that was entirely new to me. A light chickpea-based dish that incorporates vegetable samosas, lots of herbs and a bright yogurt sauce. This was such a light, flavorful, aromatic dish. I think it would make a perfect addition to any cookout or picnic.

I set aside the chicken wrap ($16.49) and pho for a “later me” meal. One worked, the other didn’t. The wrap, unfortunately for me, is designed to be eaten in-house or at least same-day. The chicken is moist and flavorful and the wrap is packed with bright veggie flavors including a generous quantity of thinly sliced jalapenos, but the whole construction didn’t stand up to a night in the fridge. It became mushy and unpleasant to eat. Live and learn.

The pho ($18.49), on the other hand, was packaged perfectly to heat and assemble the next day. The broth was rich and fragrant but still light, with a clean fresh flavor. It comes with a generous portion of tender chicken slices and the basil, cilantro, and lime and rice noodles on the side. Pro-tip: When re-heating the broth, start by adding only half the noodles. The portion was too generous for the ratio of broth.

Pho & Indian Restaurant is a lovely addition to the South Anchorage dining scene. Well-executed, wholesome Indian classics and pho, friendly and efficient service, and an easy central location are putting this spot into my rotation. Though I’m going to miss those halcyon days when you could order samosas, oxtail pho, and a Oaxacan tlayuda all in the same breath, I think getting two cuisines right in one kitchen is achievement enough.

If you go:

Pho & Indian Restaurant

9191 Old Seward Highway

(907) 743-2297

Tuesday – Sunday: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.



Mara Severin | Eating out

Mara Severin is a food writer who writes about restaurants in Southcentral Alaska. Want to respond to a column or suggest a restaurant for review? Reach her at