After a bowl of not-so-satisfying pho in Ha Long City, we explored the web in search for the best pho there is in Hanoi. Quite possibly, or probably, we were just trying to restore our faith in Vietnamese food after a few disappointments.
Finally, after going through several TripAdvisor recommendation posts, we’ve landed at the doorstep of Pho Thin.
Pho Thin is a small eatery along Lo Duc that has a simple and unassuming decor, probably just functional, if you will. On the menu, there’s only one type of pho — and that’s the pho bo, or beef pho (50,000VND (~S$2.95/US$2.20)). How we went about ordering is to just tell them the number of bowls we’d like, and whether we wanted the fried dough fritters.
Within an instant, our steaming hot bowls of pho arrived.
Voilà. Look at that! This pho smells incredibly fragrant. With that amount of greens, you can tell just how much the Vietnamese love their herbs and vegetables. Really, really generous with the spring onions here. Although it looks like there’s not a lot of meat in there, but on mixing the spring onions, we’ve discovered that there’s more beef in the bowl.
Firstly, something I usually would do on noodle dishes is to taste the soup or gravy. In this case, the stock is absolutely delicious. It tastes really beefy, garlicky and is aromatic. I don’t think that there’s any other way to describe it. I absolutely love it.
The rice noodles, they were soft and delicate. It’s so easy to swallow a large spoonful of noodles with the soup. I’ve added a little bit of their homemade chilli sauce to spice things up a little.
Very few Vietnamese would tinker with the preparation that goes into making a pho. Here in Pho Thin, the beef is stir-fried with garlic, before being added into the soup. This gives the signature smoky and garlicky taste into the meat and broth.
Upon tasting the flavourful beef slices, there’s a clear hint of char in the meat. Although the meat has a slight bite, it’s still really enjoyable.
Notably, the portion is decent. And with a price tag that cheap, it’s even more an absolute bang for your buck. This is the best pho I’ve had so far, and I’d return here if I ever visit Hanoi again. I would highly recommend, or even, insist, you to have a try at this humble and unassuming pho outlet if you’re going to travel to Hanoi.