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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pho Hoa

If Australia has Vegemite and meat pies, Vietnam has Pho. Pronounced "Fur" it is a Vietnamese beef and noodle soup. Usually eaten at breakfast, the soup includes noodles made from rice and is often served with basil, lime, bean sprouts and peppers that are added to the soup by the consumer. Phở is served in a bowl with a specific cut of white rice noodles (called bánh phở') in clear beef broth, with thin cuts of beef (steak, fatty flank, lean flank, brisket). Variations feature tendon, tripe, meatballs, chicken leg, chicken breast, or other chicken organs. "With the lot" (made with chicken broth and all or most of the shop's chicken and cattle offerings, including chicken hearts and livers and beef tripe and tendons) is known as phở đặc biệt ("specialty phở"). The broth is generally made by simmering beef (and sometimes chicken) bones, oxtails, flank steak, charred onion, and spices, taking several hours to prepare. Seasonings can include Saigon cinnamon or other kinds of cinnamon as alternatives, star anise, roasted ginger, black cardamom, coriander seed, fennel seed and clove. Vietnamese dishes are meals typically served with lots of greens, herbs, vegetables and various other accompaniments such as dipping sauces, hot and spicy pastes, and flavor enhancements, such as a squeeze of lime or lemon. The dish is garnished with ingredients such as green onions, white onions, coriander, Thai basil (húng quế), fresh Thai chili peppers, lemon or lime wedges, bean sprouts, and cilantro (ngò rí) or culantro (ngò gai).

I am a big user of the site Trip Advisor. ( It is a site for travellers written by travellers and is an amazing source of information on any place you can think of. As well as a forum and hotel reviews they also rate restaurants. The restaurant in the pictures below is currently ranked as the number one in Ho Chi Minh by travellers. This is unusual as mostly the high ranked ones tend to be a little more expensive. So who am I not to try out the number one! It set me back a grand total of 55,000 dong ($3.50) and I had a big bowl of beef Pho and a Cafe Sua Da (iced coffee). The place was rocking and the food guaranteed to be fresh as the turnover must be huge. The servings were large, condiments a plenty and a kitchen open so you can see what is going on. (Depending on who you are, this can be off putting....some weird shit goes into some of that Pho!) My review? The broth was delicious, the noodles delightful, however, as with most of the Pho I try here I find the meat a bit gristly. I think I might have to go back and try the vegetarian one before I make my final decision. I DID however love the atmosphere. I enjoyed the fact that I am doing what generations of Vietnamese have done before me and will continue to do in the future. I think Pho for breakfast rocks! (The coffee has me jumping out of my skin though!)


  1. Hi Dani, I love Pho and VN coffee, but my butt doesn't like the sugar in the condensed milk. I bought a coffee maker home with me last time and a friend in Vung Tau sends me the coffee :)

    I love your blog and your adventure. We're off on ours in 10 days, but minus our kids.

  2. Hey Snap! Thanks for reading! 5 months on and the coffee still leaves me shaking! Enjoy your adventure. If I can help with any info let me know!

  3. Thanks Danni, I'm going the Chiang Mai, Thailand but hope to jump across to VN at some stage to see old friends.


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