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5 - Pho with no name


Curb crawlin' for eats in District 1, I wound up at this makeshift stall on the crossroads of Hai Ba Trung & Le Thanh Ton streets. It's a one woman show, located in among a throng of Xe Om (motorbike taxi drivers) touting for trade. The stall is nothing more than a bubbling vat of stock propped up against a wall, a bag of fresh herbs and one of noodles, some raw chopped beef and a couple of nursery school tables and chairs. There isn't even a sign indicating what it is she's selling or how much it might set you back. I had a good look around the 'kitchen' and the lack of cooked beef suggests she's a one dish operation - Pho Bo Tai (Raw beef noodle soup). Hmmm... raw beef... out on the streets, sun beating down, no refrigeration... ??? a little risque - maybe? Oh well, you gotta live a little and this was 9am and well before the mid-day hothouse. Everything looked fresh and inviting and it wasn't as if there were flies buzzin' around a rotting carcass or anything.


Every bit of vegetation on the herb plate and in the Pho must have been hacked out of the ground that morning, this Pho was startlingly fresh. I was a tad concerned the beef may have been of the buffalo variety, but No. Tender certainly, if not up to Pho 2000. I liked just looking at this Pho. Sometimes Pho looks scrummy and the little spots of beef fat in among the chopped spring onions and noodles with a light dusting of pepper had me spellbound for ohhh... 30 seconds before I had to dive in. It's a good Pho, a fresh Pho, but not a great Pho. Slightly sweet. However, I felt the stock wasn't old enough to be out on the streets unaccompanied and so I tarted it up with a splash of Oyster sauce. I would return to this place if I was passing, but I wouldn't go out of my way. 5,000VD a bowl. I'm pretty sure it's this same spot that is heavin' with Lau (Hotpot) slurpers from 6pm. So this Pho could be a daytime only connection.


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Wow! What a fascinating blog! Remind me not to come back here when I'm hungry though.
[currently wondering whether or not to have fish and chips for tea... again]

the beef looks nicely done:)

This looks like quite a nice bowl of pho. Judging by your posts it seems as though these places are everywhere. Must be nice!

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