Monday, March 26, 2007

Pho 24, Ho Chi Minh City

Pho Dac BietHere is a bowl of the fully loaded pho dac biet from Pho 24, a chain so ubiquitous across Saigon that you'd think it were run by McDonald's (it isn't...the latter doesn't even have stores here, BTW). Meant to be a notch above the average streetside stall, this casual eatery's decor reminded me more of a Boston Market or something, except that all they serve is pho of course. It looks like they've expanded across the country and even into Indonesia and the Philippines.

Such mass production also got me worried about the broth's character, but it was still good enough for me to down the bowl pretty quickly, despite a mildly synthetic taste that I detected in it. They also offered trung ga, or a side of an egg yolk floating in a little bowl of broth on the side if you so chose. Well, the story here is really about convenience, and I'd go for it again if it were in a handy spot right when I needed a quick bite.

On a side note, I spoke to one of my local colleagues here and asked him where his favorite pho shop was. Surprisingly, he said that his favorite pho shops were actually in the US instead of Vietnam (sounds like some of my Korean colleagues' sentiment about Korean food in the US too), mainly because the quality of the beef there is better, thus creating a clear broth full of taste plus choicer cuts of beef to select from. Pho 2000 here in Saigon is supposed to be pretty close to US-quality pho though, according to him.


Anonymous said...

I read all your Vietnamese food comments. Unfortunately,you were taken to some places which were well known because of their brands such as Pho 24, Pho 2000, Banh mi, Quan 3 Mien....You could find out other places which serve scrumptious dishes ,especially, food stores on streets or stores which are not well decorated. The owners of such stores are the one who cook and have their own recipes, not industrialized foods.

Moreover, I have not found any Vietnamese restaurants in Singapore which serve yummy! dishes. The taste is different too much compared to foods in Vietnam.

Charlene said...

hey. one advice. if u really wanna taste Pho Vietnam, don't go to those shop. They're just famous for foreigners because of well decorating and clean. Most VNese do not like them