PHO – A TASTE OF VIETNAM

Pho is a must if you visit Vietnam, that’s for sure. But do you want to know it as a tourist or you prefer a local taste?

Let me tell you about the famous rice noodle soup through my memory.

The little street in the old quarter where I grew up had 2 small diners selling Pho, one of which was more popular as they opened all day while the other at No.48 named Lam was lesser known because they only served in the morning. It’s still a big question for me even now as of how those small diners in the old quarter can thrive serving only very few hour per day with a very poor range of choice while many other flashy restaurants struggle through the day.   

Back to my story, this small diners that not many people knew of was my favorite with its real taste of Hanoi from the old days. That was maybe the reason that you found most eaters were elders and some youngers who must live on the street or very nearby. Seldom did you find strange faces at this place. The place was quite small with few tables in house and few more on the pavement but always packed up with eaters waiting for a vacant seat. It was such a desperate mouthwatering feel when you were craving for a taste but you knew that it would be sold out to the last bit till you got there.

Eaters came here with very different preferences. Some preferred sirloins, others tenderloins. Some liked lots of spring onions, other liked none. Some loved the broth thick of fat, others ordered clear broth. Can you imagine that the owner could take in all those order at the same time and served as accurate as it could be? Such an amazed!

Just to be sure, it was really tasty, this rice noodle soup. The noodle was sliced just right, soft but not too crushed in a broth deep with local seasonal flavors. Such a nice taste on your tongue, absolutely different from the taste that you found in the Pho cooked in franchise chain. When it was brought to you hot in broth, just take in a small sip of broth to feel the mix of stewed bone and beef in your mouth. Then it was time to squeeze some lime juice and add few slices of chili pepper and dig in. Nothing could compare with the crispy sweet of the beef mixed with soft feel of rice noodle. Such a treat for the watering mouth and a craving stomach.

There are two type of pho for your choice, one with beef and one with chicken. Personally I like beef better, but the chicken one is good enough.

Beef noodle

And don’t forget the youtiao (Chinese cruller).  This is a common addition to make your Pho even better tasted than it already is. Dipping the stick of crispy cruller into the broth and help yourselves. Just simple as that but it was an integral part of my childhood.

Whichever you prefer, the clean diners with just so-so pho or the genuine taste in very small local, do try it if you are in town.

Anything about Vietnam and Southeast Asia, just #comment or #inbox us at Ideal Travel Asia:

 

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