Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Pho Hoa Pasteur, Saigon

Pho Tai Nam Sach

Unrelated to the big Pho Hoa chain from the US, this is another one of Saigon's famous pho shops (260C Pasteur, 829-7943). It's pretty cool to find a huge pile of leaves already sitting on your table here, not to mention other interesting items like bananas, some leaf-wrapped things, and even what looked like puff pastries and Chinese yio tiao.

This place had some of the clearest and simplest broth I'd tasted, and yet once I threw in all of the leaves and spices, this thing took on another character, again facilitating a very quick inhalation process. Interestingly, the bean sprouts that they provided were of the pre-blanched variety, which are apparently the default standard. While the raw version is perfectly acceptable, you usually have to make a special request for it.

It wasn't very much food though, so I tried unwrapping one of those leaf things on the side. I was expecting some kind of a rice cake inside but instead found some kind of meat-paste thing instead. It turned out to be quite tasty despite being at room temperature. (What are those pastries for though?) Anyway, score another good pho shop among what no doubt are many around here.


ScruffyEatsLambchop said...

mmm I haven't been back to your page and I've missed so much! I'm heading to Vietnam next week and all your pics are making me hungry already! BTW, in one of your old post about the fish scale mint-- I LOVE them!! I love all those funky mints they have!!

D said...

It's not a pastry but a fermented meat paste ball/sausage/pattie more generally known as nem. It's eaten with a variety of dishes such as banh cuon or as a snack by itself.