The Spot: I'm tearing around in unfamiliar districts trying to find me a new pho cave. That's how wide the sticky pho map is spreading - it's a sprawling noodle seeking extravaganza which has reached the 'burbs. I'm off Giang Vo Street here in a little lane called Nui Truc, not far from the beer guzzling of Bia Hai Xom, immediately beside a 'foot massage body sauna' - god only knows what goes on there!
Space and Atmosphere: It's a major cave, this one. Amazing how things get bigger in the 'burbs but not necessarily quieter. It's all deafening shout and bang here, not the best place to nurse a Saturday morning hangover. The cleaver's getting a workover on the chopping block that warrants inclusion in the percussion section of an orchestra. If you want anything here, just yell. Earplugs recommended.
Shopfront Style: This pho mob have built a big two-tone blue, chrome railed wedding cake of a house from their noodle proceeds, the ground floor of which is grimed up with kitchen activity. A wok sits on the front step, buckets on the footpath ready for dishwashing action.
Sticks, Condiments and Crockery: The bowls are breaking the Hanoi pho by-laws here. Not the Chinese floral numbers one expects to slurp from, but instead classic white. I'm reporting them!
Serving Station: The luxury of space permits a serving station far bigger than the average squat and swivel style I'm so accustomed to. Here, the lads get an aerobic workout moving up and down the bench space and backwards to the simmering pot. A constant production line of bowls ready to be dealt to signals this pho house as successful. They're up for the morning onslaught!
Meat Generosity: Sliced, beaten, squashed and whacked against a knob of ginger on the chopping block, the meats come in pretty standard portions
Service to Delivery Gap: While the soup arrived fairly smartly, I was less than impressed by the snooty neglect of the money collector, who obviously felt that fetching me some fresh chili was beneath her standing. I childishly glared at her as I marched across to another table to fetch it myself. She stared me out the whole, not one inkling of a grin. Icy pho Ma: one, childish foreigner: nil.
Stock Factor: Salty! Though with the sweat my pores are oozing at the moment, salty is probably good!
Cost: Forgot to note it down but definitely within the limits.
Rank: Eight of seventeen.