Cycle 7 – Item 245
6 (Tue) September 2016
at Pho Co Gia Truc Bach
Mission to Viet Nam : Day 1.
In Hanoi. Here to attend a conference on ageing. Arrived this morning. Flying back to Manila on Friday.
When I requested a restaurant recommendation from the hotel concierge, the answer was immediately, enthusiastically : Home. TripAdvisor confirmed with a #4 ranking of restaurants in Hanoi.
The food was mediocre across the board. Obviously attempting sophistication, or at least what a foreigner may consider to be sophisticated — I was the only non-white customer in a packed house — but succeeding only in affectation. Tepid, banal flavors, lacking any identity, traditional or reinvented. Fusion at its typical worst.
Fortunately, on the walk back to the hotel, I happened upon a street-side pho joint. Even if I hadn’t been thoroughly unsatisfied by dinner, I would’ve dropped in anyway.
The pho was awesome. Contrary to what I’d read about northern pho (see generally 3.272 Pho Ga), the toppings were very busy — heavy on the scallion — and the broth was very beefy. But the melange of different veg added a bright complexity to the richness of the broth. Wide noodles in the northern style providing a satisfyingly full mouthfeel in every bite. My first pho at the source (not counting the airport), living up to the high expectation.
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)
(See also RESTAURANTS IN VIETNAM)
(see also KOREAN RESTAURANTS ABROAD)