Today is a very exciting day, as I am about to head off on honeymoon with my darling TFB, though I might have to change his name to The Fat Husband now! As we are heading to Vietnam, I thought a review of Vietnamese restaurant Pho Pham Thi Chinh in Wangsimni would be the perfect thing to leave you with. It has always been known to be one of the most authentic restaurants in the city, and I have always wanted to try it. However with it being all the way in Wangsimni, and me being an insanely lazy person, I never got round to giving it go. Thankfully one of my friends moved just around the corner so I finally had a chance to try it.
The restaurant itself is in no way fancy, and its lack of pretension reminded me of most of the places we ate at in Vietnam. In fact towards the end of our meal, two of the staff sat at the table making the famed spring rolls, which was a joy to watch. Pho Pham Thi Chinh is a small place, part restaurant and part food market, as it has a a few shelves of popular Vietnamese ingredients for sale. Due to its size it gets busy at peak times, so try and avoid the lunchtime and dinner rush if you don’t want to wait for a table.
I was so hungry when we arrived that I wanted to try everything on the menu, but we settled on the Pho Bo (8,000). Pho is probably the most famous Vietnamese dish, so it is always a good way to test a restaurant’s muster. It was a rather warm day but we couldn’t help devouring this delicious hot bowl of noodle soup. The beef broth itself had had tonnes of flavour, you could tell they had spend hours making it. It was addictively good even before we had thrown in the coriander, chillies, bean sprouts, lime and hoi sin sauce. There were also plenty of wafer thin slices of beef, and if you like your pho extra meaty you can get the special version for an extra 2,000. If I’m in a Vietnamese restaurant, you can guarantee that I’m not leaving without trying the Cha Gio (5,000). The crispy spring rolls were super golden brown, and were stuffed inside with a very tasty meat and veggie filling. They came with a sweet chili dip, and were so good we were fighting for the last one.
We also tried the Bun Thit Nuong Salad (8,000), as it is one of my favourite dishes. I have eaten a couple of these recently as it it is the perfect summer dish, but this is the best one I have had in a long time. The marinade had the perfect mix of salty, sweet, and sour and didn’t feel at all watered down. It had that real punch of flavour that you come to expect from the sugar, vinegar and fish sauce mix. Mixed with the fresh veggies, meat and rice noodles it is the ideal hot weather dish.
Overall I was very impressed with my cheap and delicious lunch. There are a thousand and one Vietnamese restaurants in the city right now and this one seems to serve the food closest to what I have eaten in Vietnam. If you are really into Vietnamese cuisine and have had trouble finding good places to eat, it is well worth a trip across town.
Pho Pham Thi Chinh is located at 성동구 도성동 69 삼성쉐르빌 101동 237-1. To get there take a train to Wangsimni (line 2&5) and come out of exit 2. Walk straight and take your second left. keep walking along this street and you will see Pho Pham Thi Chinh in amongst the shops located in the very tall building. From a far it looks more like a Vietnamese food shop. For more information you can call them on 02-2293-2214. They are open from 10am-9pm, and closed on on Tuesdays.