A popular favourite in Vietnamese restaurants across Australia, Pho is certainly a must-eat when visiting Vietnam. This dish is so entwined in Vietnam’s national identity that you cannot come away without sampling it. It is akin to having pizza in Italy or sushi in Japan.
This noodle dish, Pho, is eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Street vendors serve it on small plastic tables. Fine dining restaurants plate it up on handsome mahogany. But rest assured it’s enjoyed throughout the country. Garnished with scallions, fresh greens and additional condiments such as lime, chilli and garlic, this chewy dish is very popular in Vietnamese cuisine.
Here are some of the places frequented by locals to enjoy Pho in Ho Chi Minh city.
It may sound like the name of a comet in outer space, but Pho 2000 is a restaurant. It is known for having former US President Bill Clinton over. The president enjoyed the delicious beef marrow broth and glutinous Asian noodles so much, he ordered a second bowl. Sample it, and perhaps you too will be enamoured by it.
Location: 1-3D Phan Chu Trinh, District 1
In the bustling Nguyen Thai Binh Pho, you will find Bo Vien Thap Cam, a charming little shophouse that serves up some of the best Pho is Ho Chi Minh. Surrounded by parked motorbikes, this restaurant serves Pho with beef and chicken. You can also see some wonderful greens in this restaurant’s dish. Despite its crumpled appearance, the restaurant’s Pho is quite simply, brilliant.
Location: Nguyen Thai Binh, District 1
Pho Hoa Restaurant has been run by successive generations of the same family which adds a little history to your meal. The broth recipe here is a family secret which helps create a little mystique around the flavours. Served with your bowl of Pho is a plate of deep fried bread called Qouy. This bread is actually of Chinese origin but it is finding favour as a daytime side dish.
Location: 260C Pasteur Street, District 1
The name of this restaurant refers to the amount of ingredients that go into cooking each bowl, so you know there are many complex aromas with every bite. The broth here is subtly flavoured with lemongrass and the bitter herbs work well with soft, sliced chicken or cubes of beef.
Location: Nguyen Du Street, District 1
This Pho restaurant is a particular favourite with office workers looking for a quick, nutritious – and most of all, delicious – lunch. The restaurant serves the northern style of pho, which is plated up with fewer condiments and lets the flavours of the broth carry the dish with only scallions sprinkled on top as a garnish.
Location: 170 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, District 3
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