Friday, December 5, 2008

Vietnam, Saigon Food - Lots of Pho (Part 3)

Spot the green banner signboard - Pho for the President
President Clinton in his visit to Vietnam in the 2000 yearned for a bowl of Pho and he was taken here. Photos of his visit is plastered all over the walls. This restaurant is in spick and span condition. Very clean. It is the one and only. No MSG in the soup which is very important. I have eaten here many times. It is very good. Be prepared to pay RM10 for a Pho Bo Dac Biet (Special Beef noodles).

This time round I went over to Pho 24 which is a very successful franchise in Vietnam. I was told it was good. So here it is. I am not sure of the portions at Pho 2000 now as Vietnam went through price upheavals due to the oil and commodities increase. The recent drops have not filtered through the system as yet starting with the hotel rates though still cheap at USD15/night. As far as taste I still prefer 2000 for its beefy full-bodied taste while 24 is lighter. 2000 has a utilitarian approach for its interior while Pho 24 is better on aesthetics. Lacquer chairs and tables and nice tablewares.
The orientation and getting to this 2 restaurants is very simple. Whether from the Central Commercial District where the expensive hotels are or at Bui Vien and Pham Ngu Lao tourist ghetto, Ben Thanh Market is a short 10 minutes walk. Get a map and find out where you are and walk to Ben Thanh Market. Every one knows this place. This iconic place is similar to Central Market in Kuala Lumpur or Russian Market in Phnom Penh or even the Russian Market in Ulaan Baatar.

Once you are facing the main entrance with the clock tower (many entrances and exit points) Pho 2000 is at the corner of the row of shops on your left. Pho 24 is a few lots down.I will blog on what's in Ben Thanh market later.


Lyrical Lemongrass said...

I didn't get a chance to try the food at Pho 2000. I did see Pho 24 at every corner though. I feel that Pho 24 caters more for tourists looking at the prices which are comparable with KL cafe prices.

worldwindows said...

LL... Thanks for visiting. I agree. I prefer those shops that the locals go. It is less than half the price at RM3.60 for a good size bowl. Of course there are some drawbacks like interiors and tablewares.