The last post on pho marked a milestone. It was the tenth in the Hanoi pho swoop, which sounds 'piddly-like-whoopie-big-deal-so-I've-eaten-ten-bowls-of-soup', but I can tell you for every bowl I've blogged, another ten have gone south of my mouth. The problem with pho mapping Hanoi for me is that I keep returning to my favourites rather than following a systematic approach to a process that I've realised will never end.
I do like pho, though, much more than a bowl of soggy cereal or a slice of toast with vegemite for breakfast. I like a wet breakfast and I will persist with the noodle slurping in perpetuity, it seems.
But let me summarise the very subjective findings so far.
THE STICKYRICE 'HANOI PHO SWOOP' TOP TEN SLURPS:
(as at 22/11/06)
1. Best Pho Ga By Far So Far (posted 26/7/06)
"Get me a whole bird in my soup!"
2. Would You Queue for Pho? (2/8/06)
"...a joint that Hanoians spruik up as one of the places to slurp one's noodles."
3. Pho Corner (12/9/06)
"...cleavered chicken pieces, diced up hearts and livers, sliced fillets of breast covered in lime leaf needles, a huge pile of fresh pho, a pot, a sieve, a ladle and some bowls."
4. Pho Franchise (9/11/06)
"classy, almost minimalist, a far cry from the cluttered detritus of the average family pho show in Hanoi."
5. Up-Market Pho (7/10/06)
"...no slap-dash affair. Someone cares."
6. Pho Ga Blur (8/8/06)
"...this rambling kerbside affair is an evening only slurp in a dark section of the Old Quarter."
7. Pho Poser (10/7/06)
"...there's half a cow on board this bowl..."
8. Friendly Grotbox (17/11/06)
"...bargain basement territory..."
9. More Pho Tails (20/8/06)
"...a definitive little pinch me moment of "bloody hell, I live in Vietnam!"
10. Pho Map Installment No 2 (18/8/06)
"...chewy, fatty and if I think too hard I might be forced to spit it into a serviette."
What about those of you who live in or have vistied Hanoi? What do you reckon? Am I out of my tree or not? I'd be much more motivated to branch out a bit if some recommendations were forthcoming.
*On a completely unrelated note, Hannibal Lector seemingly landed on this blog after conducting a search for the following: "restaurants that used human bones to make food delicious." He must be doing a thesis.