dishesandplaces

street pho in hanoi

In places on April 24, 2012 at 9:15 pm

almost every write up about hanoi contains a rhapsody about pho on the sidewalks. because of this, we were determined to make that our first real meal in hanoi. at first we tried for the famous pho gia truyen on 49 bat dan – but we got there too late, it was already closed (that was around 10AM). so we just sat at the nearest spot we saw which was also about to close shop but still ladling out pho ga (chicken).

we sat and noted the condiments

chili sauce, salt, the ubiquitous nuoc cham (fish sauce based dipping sauce) and, for an extra 5,000 dong, fried bread. we were expecting what we get in vietnamese restaurants here – a plate of herbs and lemon or lime but we didn’t – nor did we see that happening in any of the places we saw. so we got a bowl each of pho ga (with the herbs mixed in)

was it delicious? absolutely. strong taste of cilantro, which we love. and the dish was still interactive enough since we needed to mix in chili sauce and salt – it does need it, and it’s part of the eating experience. this pho ga was bright and fresh. hot, yes, but in the way that cools you after. easy to see why this is THE breakfast to have in vietnam.

we paid 30,000 dong each (about P75). not as cheap as we would have wanted, or as we imagined the prices to be based on our research, but still much cheaper than pho here. and definitely tastier.

do we remember the name of this place? not at all. for those interested, it’s at the corner of bat dan and thuoc bac (i think. i’m sure about the bat dan part though). but it probably doesn’t matter. it stands to reason that all streetside pho places are just a few small degrees away from each other in terms of taste. the important thing is you get on those tiny stools and slurp down a bowl – the experience, together with the noise of hanoi streets, is sensorily incredible.

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