I can’t believe I haven’t used this pun yet. A little while ago, I went to a Vietnamese restaurant that my Vietnamese friend claimed had high potential. I had to know the truth! So off we all went.
My friends and I used to be pho fiends back when we were in high school. Actually, we still really enjoy pho but one of our friends happens to have very awesome homemade pho, so we go out for that stuff less now. I guess it comes as no surprise that EVERYONE WANTED TO ORDER THE EXACT SAME THING. Because this would make for a very boring review I bit the bullet and got a different dish instead.
This is the very vanilla, iconic pho bowl that most people crave when they want a taste of that delicious broth coupled with beef that’s just barely cooked by the heat of the liquid. In addition to the thin slices of beef, there are often beef balls, tripe, tendon, and accompanying bean sprouts. I found out during my excursion here that you can totally ask your server to blanch the bean sprouts in some water and bring them back to you — makes them a lot more palatable by reducing their pungency. My Vietnamese friend approved of this pho, saying that the flavours were there, the portion-size was good, and there was a good variety of flavours. Still not as good as hers, though!
This bun (pronounced “boung”) includes even more balls, grilled beef, a delicious spring roll, assorted veggies, and a perfect fish sauce with just the right amount of savoury-sweetness and sourness. Normally, I just pour all that golden sauce all over the plate, mix it up, then go to town. I remember the beef being a nice stand out with a nice, minor char and bold meaty flavour accentuated by a honey and soy sauce-based glaze.
TL;DR: Lots of good balls. Vietnamese friend approves.