Sunday, January 12, 2014

Hủ Tiếu

Hủ Tiếu Saigon is a signature noodle dish from the south. In the north, it is more of a dry noodle dish, while in Saigon it is clearly a soup. It consists of a choice of egg or rice noodles, a rich porky broth and lots of fresh salad and herb content on the side to counter the meat in the dish. This is one of the dishes on the top of my list whenever I'm going to Ho Chi Minh City. I'm sure there are plenty of people there who make amazing Hủ Tiếu but I love my lady in Bùi Viện street, who serves the best version I've had.

In the last 10 years or so, regardless of where I stay when I'm there, I always eat her noodles for breakfast. It's not just because it's cheap but also about how delicious the broth is: cooked with pork bones for a long time, with incredibly tender meat and the smile she greets me with.

She knows I like to eat fresh bean sprouts, soft knuckles of bone and some thinly sliced pork with not many noodles. I suppose you could say I'm a difficult customer - maybe that's why she recognises me! I enjoy her company and her staff seem to have been the same for years. So she must be a good employer, as well. All middle aged and very funny, sometimes it sounds like they are arguing but it is just a normal conversation. I enjoy being part of their conversation and laughing with it. She told me she doesn't care who her clients are or where they're from, they all human beings and she charges everyone with same price and I like that.