No blog about Vietnamese food should be without a mention of pho. Yet it’s actually quite hard to write about it as pho restaurants in town are usually quite consistent and everyone seems to have their favorite place. I don’t really have a favorite spot per se but there are notables dotted around the districts that I have tried out on recommendations of friends.
However, there is one pho joint in District 4 that I considered to be great but not fantastic. That is until my last trip where I was thrown a curveball.
It’s not a street stall so the restaurant is a bit more expensive but on the plus side, it’s air conditioned. As for the pho, it’s pretty darn delicious. The broth exudes beefy goodness with a hint of licorice which makes me think they more star anise in the broth than most places. The noodles are soft yet have just a bit of bite for texture and as you can see from the picture above, the garnish that accompanies is fresh and bright.
I usually get their Dac Biet (special) bowl which runs 35,000 Dong.The portion is a bit larger than the normal and has some sliced thin rare beef, beef flank, fatty brisket and some meatballs. A little bit of chopped scallions, sliced onions and a sprinkle of pepper finish out the bowl.
As you can see, it looks great and tastes even better but there isn’t anything that really makes it stand out from the rest of the pack. Well, that is until the last time I went and the group I was with ordered this:
Yep, that’s just meat, bones and broth. All for 50,000 Dong. As I dove into the to sun (translates to bowl bones), I noticed a higher portion of fat to meat ratio on the chunks. To help cut down the fattiness, I dipped the pieces in a combination of chili sauce and hoisin sauce that was supplied on the table. And it was good. Really good. There is nothing more satisfying than rolling up your sleeves and getting down and dirty with your food.
The pho is great at Pho Phong Cach but add that bowl of meat and it makes this place fantastic!