There are many vermicelli and bamboo shoot vermicelli shops. The owner of a pho restaurant in Hanoi has created a new dish of bamboo shoot chicken pho with bone broth and added worms and dried squid.
Although it has only been open for nearly a year, the pho restaurant of Mr. Hoang Van Chien (37 years old, Thanh Hoa) has become a familiar address for many diners. The shop is located on Nguyen Huy Tuong, Thanh Xuan district, open from 6:15 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., with a lunch break from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The shop has three floors with a total area of more than 150 m2, airy, neatly arranged, and clean.
The restaurant attracts diners with chicken pho with bamboo shoots, instead of the usual vermicelli and bamboo shoot vermicelli. Since opening for sale half a month, the shop has had a stable number of customers. About a month ago, when some people shared it on social networking sites, the restaurant attracted a new number of young customers.
The restaurant’s owner, Mr. Chien (pictured), said that this is a dish he drew from his own experience and created from his many experiences eating at restaurants in Hanoi. “There are many noodle and vermicelli shops with sprouted bamboo shoots, but I haven’t seen any that cook pho with sprouted bamboo shoots, so I researched and learned to create a unique dish with a new flavor,” he said.
A bowl of chicken pho with sprouted bamboo shoots includes ingredients: pho fibers, dried bamboo shoots, sprouted balls, young eggs, chicken meat, liver, intestines, chicken gizzards. Ingredients are prepared and stored separately in aluminum trays, neatly arranged at the processing counter. The processing counter has a glass screen separating it from the customer service area to ensure hygiene.
Mr. Chien uses chicken imported from his hometown Thanh Hoa. Two months ago, no matter where customers ordered, the chicken was sliced so that the meat was soft, moist, and not dry. However, the downside is that it takes a long time to process. During peak hours, customers have to wait for a long time so they are not satisfied.
Currently, the restaurant has changed its service method. From 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the restaurant’s peak hour, staff will pre-slice meat and process it continuously to reduce waiting time. After rush hour, the process returns to the same, Mr. Chien said.
What creates the flavor for a bowl of chicken pho is the broth simmered from chicken and pork bones for more than 10 hours. The restaurant does not use MSG, instead it uses sea worms and dried squid. “I don’t add too much to retain the sweetness of the bones. Sea worms and dried squid are added to create a special sweetness and aroma different from regular pho broth,” Mr. Chien revealed.
Mixed pho also uses the broth of plain pho, no need to add other spices.
Hot blanched pho noodles are put into a bowl, sprinkled with green onions, chopped coriander and added toppings according to the diners’ requests. Chicken and lime leaves are added last. Add enough broth to cover the ingredients and you’re done.
The broth has a strong bamboo shoot flavor because the amount of bamboo shoots added is relatively large, and has the sweet taste of simmered bones and peanut worms. The chicken is soft and has a slight chewiness. The egg custard is not completely cooked, the yolk inside is golden and thick, and when eaten has a rich, greasy taste. The noodles are soaked in soft broth and served with crunchy dried bamboo shoots, bringing a strange feeling.
Chicken meat is divided into many parts such as breast, wings, back, thighs, and thighs. Among them, chicken breast and thigh pho are ordered the most. The restaurant sells chicken pho with many prices, ranging from 25,000 – 55,000 VND. Special bowl with full toppings (pictured) costs 75,000 VND.
Customers coming to the restaurant are mainly residents and employees working around the area. Working near the restaurant, Thu Tra (24 years old, Thanh Xuan district) said she had never heard of pho eaten with bamboo shoots before, so she was curious to try it. She commented that the broth has a strangely sweet taste, is low in fat and has no greasy residue. “The restaurant is crowded so the service speed is a bit slow but the staff attitude is friendly and enthusiastic,” Tra commented.
On an average day, the shop sells about 650 bowls, and on weekends it can be more crowded with 750 – 800 bowls. During peak hours in the morning (7am – 9am), noon (12pm – 12:30pm) and evening (7:30am – 8:30pm), especially on weekends, customers may have to wait.
The shop does not have its own parking space. The parking area in front of the shop is about 5 m2 wide, can accommodate about 5-7 motorbikes, there is no place to park a car.
Photo,Video: Internet (Vinlove.net)