Sunday, October 28, 2007

Savoury Tonkinese Soup with Beef (Pho Bo) at Pho Zen restaurant

I can't seem to find anyone who doesn't like Vietnamese Tonkinese soup "Pho". The most popular "Pho" and my favourite is the "Pho Bo Tai", the soup with beef broth and medium rare flanc steak. This past weekend, I couldn't find a better way to reward myself with this warm and gratifying treat at a sleek nearby Pho restaurant called Pho Zen, after a nasty cold that merely made my week miserable and my exam writing arduous. But I made it through! I was glad to go out for dinner and slurp the savory broth directly from the bowl.

I have a message to most of my non-asian friends, and to all non-asians out there. Please don't be shy to slurp your noodles and the broth directly from the bowl when you are enjoying this wonderful soup, especially in the company of asian friends or when you are savoring this soup in a vietnamese restaurant where the majority of the customers are asian! Make yourself at home. You may not feel comfortable at first, because most probably it is very unliky that you are used to such table manners, perceived as rude and embarrassing by most westerners, but it's fun and you get the most out of your experience in eating this truly vietnamese delight.

It is very difficult to make a perfectly tasty "Pho". The right blends of ingredients and the long process (8 hours) of cooking the broth are key to a star-rated "Pho". Being vietnamese, I have picked up my parent's fussiness when it comes to finding a restaurant serving the right tasting "Pho", which shouldn't be too salty or bland, but have the right concoction of flavours released from the herbs, spices and the beef.

Since the original recipe is very time consuming, which is not the aim of my blog but to share easy and simple recipes, I am planning to post a simplified recipe of the famous "Pho" soup very soon, by...hushhh...cheating a little. And believe me, it tastes just as good.

Overall, Pho Zen restaurant is worth a dining experience, not only for it's sleek design and cleanliness (you won't have to wipe your chopsticks and spoons twice before using them, like other places) but for it's truly authentic and flavourful authentic Vietnamese Tonkinese soups.

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