Having real pho’ (vietnamese rice noodle soup) in Korea is a rare, but I did it! The Vietnamese restaurant I used to go to around the corner from Daejeon Station recently moved to a bigger location directly across from the station. I went there last Sunday with Asuncion to check out the new joint. It’s located on the 3rd floor of a building and it was pretty spacious.
I knew it was authentic when there was loud-ass forlorn sounding Vietnamese music blaring in the background. We flipped through a menu that boasted 40+ Vietnamese dishes. Unfortunately, they didn’t really have that many available. I wanted banh mi bo kho (beef stew with baguette) but they didn’t have the bread. Then I wanted banh xeo (pancakes with shrimp) but they didn’t want to make me that either. I finally settled for a bowl of beef pho’ while Asuncion and I shared a plate of cha gio (egg rolls). While waiting for our food (& even while eating our food), we were stared at by 1,000,000 other people in the place. I mean, staring is natural, but direct, blatant staring is just rude. If I wasn’t on one of my “I will not speak Vietnamese” kicks, I would’ve told them to stop looking.
The pho’ broth was GOOD. It tasted like real pho’. It wasn’t off and it 100% there. I was a bit surprised that they didn’t give us any of the herbs or lemons. But whatever, you get what you get. The eggrolls, on the other hand, were not that good. The filling was rather strange and contained peanuts… that’s not how my mama makes it. Overall, if you’re looking for some basic dishes like pho’ or rice, you’ll be safe. If you want to order anything else on their 40+ item menu, you’ll most likely be rejected like I did.