My first trip back to the city that was one called the Paris of the East. Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and has a deep cultural and culinary heritage. One of the heritage for the world was phở.
If you live overseas and are familiar with phở, I’m sure the version you have had is from South Vietnam. Many Hanoians will know Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su and there is a large sign at the front that declares this is the real Pho 10. Like anything in Vietnam, if it is any good it will be copied and resold as the real thing.
Phở (noodle soup) originated in Hanoi and locals regard this as a breakfast food, but you can eat phở whenever you like, because it’s also good for lunch or dinner. The focus of the Northern Pho is on the taste of its clear and simple broth, whereas its Southern counterpart is slightly sweeter and bolder.
Phở is simply a rice noodle dish with delicious and heart warming broth, tonnes of spring onions and corianders. It can be paired with chicken or beef, and balanced with a squeeze of lime. You control the heat with the amount of chopped chilli or their house made chilli sauce (very spicy).
The broth at Pho 10 was complex and full of flavours. We got the beef special so it was multiple cuts of beef and tripes. The beef was blanched ala minute and was sublime. My companion commented that there was no meatballs and beansprouts – that’s the Southern version.
I ordered a plate of quẩy (deep fried dough fritters), which was kind of strange for me during lunch. We usually eat these for breakfast. One bite of this fritter and we immediately knew why I was advised to order this when we come to Pho 10.
The fritters were really crispy, must crispier than the ones we ate for breakfast. It was perfect dipping tool to soak up all those beautiful broth. And you could not stop at one piece. They were so good to even eat them on their own.
Pho 10 may not be the best in Hanoi these days, but they are the one of the firsts to put pho to the culinary map. This is not that kind of place where you could sit for a while and chat with friends. Don’t expect great service when here. Also, be prepared to share tables with strangers.
Phở 10 Lý Quốc Sư
10 P. Lý Quốc Sư, Hàng Trống, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Tel : +84 847 225 586
Visited in Jul 2022