So after our rest at the Metropole, we decided to grab dinner and while meandering through the streets of Hanoi, we came across this local pho noodle joint, called (I think) Huyen Dung Pho Bo (pictured)
We got right down to business and got ourselves each a bowl of hot beef noodle soup or pho … but we were a bit wary of the hygeine of the makeshift noodle cart (see below):
The pho came almost as soon as we ordered, but after the first sip of soup and the first bite of pho noodle, I realized that it wasn’t what I had anticipated. It wasn’t bad at all, but it also wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. Then I realized (again), that I’ve had some of the best pho from Vancouver, Toronto and LA; homes of some of the biggest overseas Vietnamese communities!
Being the “consultant” that I am, I’ve broken down the pho noodle into 3 parts and the differences between a bowl of pho found in an average Hanoi pho restaurant, and an average North America pho restaurant:
- Soup: This one here is smells and tastes good, but is heavy on MSG. But the ones found in NA is probably the same
- Noodle: I prefer the Hanoi version of the pho noodle. It was more fine (or thinner), while I found the pho noodle in NA to be thicker. I’d like to just slurp without much effort, but that’s just me
- Beef: Here is where the Hanoi pho lost a lot of points. They had only a few pieces of beef! In Toronto, they load mine up with raw beef, but to be fair, portions in Canada and the States are always bigger (speaking of which, where the heck did people come up with “火车头” or “Train”-sized pho noodles? I certainly didn’t see pho offered in 5 different sizes in Hanoi)
Anyway … it is what it is. But at 15,000 Vietnam Dong (USD 86 cents) per bowl of beef noodle, who am I to complain?
Huyen Dung Pho Bo
Somewhere along that road from Metropole back to our hotel at Hanoi Old Quarter Hotel