The first time I had visited Pho Nhuận was on a hot Summer day and no, they did not have A/C (or did not turn it on). Thus, I ate pretty quickly and hightailed it out-of-there faster than the one of Mason Raymond's rushes fizzling out. I think I was soaked in sweat when I left (that's how they eat it in Vietnam right???) This time around, Milhouse, Kaiser Soze and JuJu joined me after Sunday hockey. And much like last time, it was a warm day. Yup, they didn't have the A/C on either.
Seeing how Kaiser Soze and JuJu went for Pho, I decided to try the Bun Bo Hue. Thankfully I did because the broth was pretty tasty with hits of lemongrass, savouriness and a good level of spice. The pork blood and knuckle added some legitimacy to the bowl as well. Unfortunately, there was a puny amount of noodles and meat which marred what would've been a pretty good bowl of Bun Bo Hue. As if I had a premonition, I had ordered a Lemongrass Chicken and Fried Egg on Rice as well. I easily dusted this off after my really modest portion of noodles. The broken rice had a nice softness to it while still having some chew. The one piece of chicken was flavourful with hits of sweetness and lemongrass. However, it was a tad dry in places. The fried egg was nice and runny. Once again, the portion size was not exactly large.
AND on top of that, I shared a Banh Mi Dac Biet with Milhouse. I really wasn't a huge fan of the bread as it was dense and not that crusty. The meats were okay, yet there was far too much butter-mayo which made the inside wet. That was the same complaint by JuJu and his Meatball Banh Mi. The meat was moist enough, but there was just too much moisture which softened the already not-crunchy bread. Milhouse tried the Dry Noodles at my urging and he cursed me for doing so. I said it would be like the one found at Phnom Penh, but it was nothing like it. The noodles were slimy while the soy dressing was too sweet and lacked the savouriness compared to Phnom Penh.
And finally back to the Pho, it was also a modest portion in terms of noodles and meat. Nothing particularly wrong with them though. As for the broth, it was pretty light despite the rich hue. Not a whole lot of meatiness nor many distinguishing flavours. With that being said, it wasn't bad either. Overall, this revisit was pretty much a mirror image of my first time. The food was generally okay and serviceable except for the Banh Mi. However, I found the Bun Bo Hue a real highlight.
- Good Bun Bo Hue
- Serviceable food
- Smallish portions
- Either A/C is broken or they don't use it
- I know it isn't their specialty but don't eat the Banh Mi