The Vietnamese are a resourceful bunch. Businesses, both legal and not, seem to pop up out of nowhere. From people crouched on a stool selling interesting salads and fruit, to those selling food from inside a garage. This was the case at the latter at ANNHUY Pho.
This wasn’t a planned stop. Our first night had been more about getting our bearings and checking out the local area. A walk around the streets at night had been fascinating capturing the energy and life of Ho Chi Minh City. As we turned for home towards our hotel at Alagon D’Antique, we detected a familiar scent.
A bubbling pot of Pho broth over charcoal greeted us at the entrance to someone’s garage. On enquiring about the price, a kind lady greeted us with both a smile and a menu in Vietnamese and English. This place not only specialises in Pho but also a few noodle dishes with meat. There was no doubting what we were going for.
Beef Pho is a popular dish back home and here it costs just 44,000 Dong (around £1.47) for a small bowl. Along with the steaming hot soup, there are a selection of condiments. On the table is fish sauce, hoisin sauce, chilli oil, sriracha sauce, sweet chilli sauce and fresh lime wedges and sliced chilli.
Along with the Pho, a selection of herbs is brought over. These include Vietnamese coriander, basil and an aniseed herb similar to tarragon. The beauty of Pho is that you can accessorise is whichever way you like to suit your taste. With lime squeezed, herbs added and sauces poured, I went in for my first taste.
This is completely unlike any Pho i’ve ever tasted. The strength of the broth knocks any pretenders from back home into oblivion. A decent amount of beef also makes for a great bowl of soup. The noodles are delicate and the bean sprouts add a gentle crunch. Incredible flavour also comes in waves from the herbs and sauces.
For 44,000 per bowl, this is absolutely worth the investment. Sitting perched on a tiny stool in a garage while the traffic flies by is as much of a reminder as any that you are in Vietnam. The staff here are both kind and friendly. The proud owners of a smashing business selling top quality dishes.