This is a bowl of pho. I had one nearly everyday when I went to Vietnam this August. I had this particular bowl one morning in Hoi An. And I’m putting it up here because a bowl of pho is one of those rare dishes I give due aesthetic consideration to before wolfing it down. While most dishes elicit the thought process “Food!!! NOM!” a bowl of pho gets the much more sophisticated “Food!!! Oooh, pretty. NOM!” This is very rare, as anyone can see from my becoming visibly agitated when my food arrives and my companion insists in taking a picture of it, and then another because the first one was blurry.
This particular bowl isn’t even one of the most primped up I’ve seen; Hoi An is sort of in the middle of nowhere. The real reason I put up this picture here is because I tried the pho (specifically the “Raw Beef, Soft Tendon, Tripe, Muscle, Beef Meat Ball and Brisket Rice Noodle” variety) in the Hong Kong branch of Pho24 in TST this evening and was unsurprisingly disappointed it couldn’t match the one I had (same variety) in the same restaurant in Ho Chin Minh City. (For my entertainment though, I was seated next to an Australian mother-and-daughter who mulled over the menu and announced they couldn’t make any sense of it, so it wasn’t a total loss.) The soup wasn’t strong or oily enough and was overwhelmed by the meat and I did Unspeakable Things to the basil to compensate for it. But now that I think of it, maybe the original bowl of Pho24 I had in Vietnam grew so delicious only in that dark little corner of my brain way after I had already had it simply because I haven’t had it for a long time, much like a lot of things in life, 90’s music for instance. And now that I’ve spent so much time talking about a bowl of pho, I want another one quite soon, so I’m gonna see if I can go back there on Sunday and treat the basil a bit better.
(Yes, like most, if not all, the posts in this blog, this one is written merely for self-indulgence with no effort to be morally edifying nor educational. It’s Friday night.)