Jan 12 2013
Finding a bowl of pho in Saigon is by no means a hard task but sooner or later all the restaurants, stalls and bowls start to blend together. Pho Nho is a unique spot that stands out among the rest and is the place to go in Ho Chi Minh City for Hanoi-style pho.
From the outside on Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Pho Nho looks like a simple place to escape from the busy street. Once inside, however, you’ll be transported to the streets of Hanoi. The inside of the restaurant is decorated like you’re eating in the street, complete with street lights, footpaths, road signs and murals of buildings, but with the addition of fans and proper tables. It may seem kind of strange to decorate the inside of a restaurant which sells a soup you can get from many vendors on the street as a street but Pho Nho earns a reprieve because it is one of the only theme-restaurants in town and the decor is well done. The restaurant is fan-cooled only though, so be prepared as it can get a little warm inside.
The menu at Pho Nho is pretty simple, as it basically just serves pho. The untrained eye may not see much of a difference between the pho of the north and south of Vietnam, but with practice you’ll notice some minor differences. In the north, pho is generally a simpler dish, made with fewer ingredients and served with fewer garnishes. You’ll also usually have fewer choices for your pho meat and you’ll be served a bowl that isn’t nearly as spicy. At Pho Nho, this is what you’ll get, but you will be offered the option of adding some southern additions and the pho generally has a heartier broth then elsewhere in the city. Most bowls cost 40,000 to 50,000 VND, depending on your choice of meat.
Seating inside Pho Nho is limited, and during the lunch and dinner rushes things can get a little busy; avoid the crowds by visiting during non-peak hours.
If you can’t get a seat, or you’re not in the mood for pho, several other restaurants in the area may fit the bill. You’re only a few blocks from Chao Vit Sai Gon, where you can get duck served in several different soups, plus air-conditioning. You’re also just a block away from Nam Son Beefsteak, if you’d rather skip the soup and go for grilled beef. For something a bit more refined, you’re also only a short trip from two of Saigon’s nicer restaurants, Bobby Chinn’s and Xu, both of which serve a higher end, higher priced Vietnamese menu.
170 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
T: (08) 3920 5739
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