If you’ve ever tried a Vietnamese food, there is a high chance that it was a bowl of Pho – Vietnam’s unofficial national dish. For those who visited the capital Hanoi, there is also a high odd they tried and loved the noodle dish that the city’s really proud of, especially the beef noodle soup.
Among the renowned restaurants that serve beef noodle soup in both Hanoi’s Old Quarter and the French Quarter, stands strongly on the top list is the Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su. Like most well-known places in the city, this family-run pho shop offers only one dish, beef noodle soup, with several choices of several beef cuts and how they’re cooked.
Located at no. 10 Ly Quoc Su Street, the same street with the famous St. Joseph’s Cathedral and about 8-minute walk from the legendary Hoan Kiem Lake, this beef noodle soup restaurant is one of the busiest establishments in the neighborhood, attracting endless line of both international and local diners.
Regarding to picking a pho place, people often choose a restaurant that has diners waiting for their table from outside, Pho 10 is a place like that. There is often a line of consumers during the main hours for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. However, we try not to take our clients there when they may have to stand in the line, if they don’t want to.
Our most recent visit to the venue was on a nice day in March, we were walking from our clients’ hotel – Apricot Hotel. When we arrived at 17h15, there was a queue by the door’s step, but as foodies who eat there several times a month, we knew it was only a short wait of less than five minutes.
On a regular basis, and more often than not, visitors are waiting for a couple minutes at the entrance at peak hours. During the time, everyone could see the chef preparing the soup behind the clear glass in the kitchen set next to the door step. High turnover means fresh all the time!
To prepare a hearty bowl of beef noodle soup, the chef put a sufficient amount of flat rice noodle in a sieve and soak in hot water for some seconds before placing in a large bowl, repeat the process with the fresh beef cuts, then topped the bowl with scallions, onion, and cilantros before scooping the beef stock on and let it be ready to serve.
Precipitously we were called in when there were four people just finished their eats, and while the staff were still trying to clean up the table. While we were already inside the garish orange façade, there were a pervasion of aromatic stock of marrow-rick beef bones coming from the bubbling vats and fresh herbs to welcome food lovers. Each table had a menu put beneath the clear glass; everyone was supposed to order from it.
The menu offered choices of up to 10 different beef cuts and how they could be cooked; from half done beef (the most popular), to brisket with flank, and to half-done fillet beef. Prices also varied from 60.000d (2.7USD) to 120.000d accordingly. An extra (not on the menu) poached egg costed 5.000d, a small plate with five Vietnamese donuts was 5.000d, and a glass of iced tea also was also priced 5.000d.
We ordered the most popular tai chin – half done beef, which had the tempting red hue beef. The pho came out super quick, then we could spice it up with the condiments on the table: rice vinegar, fresh lime, and chili sauce. Many travelers, though were familiar with pho, only know the Southern Vietnam version which had also bean sprouts and basils, the northern version has no extra herb as the side dish.
Like most small and busy family-run pho restaurant, Pho 10 was not a kind of place where you could sit for a while and chat with friends. It was more like a tiny bistro, where you just eat and then go. The servers pretty much just dropped the bowls of pho on the table. Service was with the sole aim of getting you to finish your pho quickly and leave, so that someone else can get your table.
Overall, the place offers delicious beef noodle soup. However, the venue is quite chaotic, brisk, and rushed, especially during meal times. You could hardly get a smile from both the staff and the owner – who is also the cashier sitting on the way out. It’s pity that many travelers didn’t get a friendly welcome that the city would like to express!
Thus, we would give its beef noodle soup 5 stars, and only 3 stars for the service. If all you care is the food, and if you’re fine with the possible line and being basically shoved into seats, we’re confident to recommend you to eat beef pho here. It’s best to avoid rush hours (12h00 to 13h00, 19h00 to 20h00), then you’ll have great experience.
- Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su
- 10 Ly Quoc Su Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
- 0847 225 586
- 7h00 – 21h00
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