2.335 Brisket Pho

-Cycle 2, Item 335-
6 (Tue) December 2011

Brisket Pho

* * * *

at Good Morning Vietnam

-Hannam, Seoul-

with Dominic

As with all foreign foods, pho was subject to makeover upon entering Korea. First, it's become a beef dish exclusively. Some restaurants offer a seafood variety, but the broth is still beef. Second, the beef flavor of the broth is more intense, darkly opaque with beefiness. Next, herb garnishes have been summarily removed from consideration, in some places from the premises entirely, though a few holdouts may provide a bit of cilantro on the side upon request. The standard garnish plate consists of bean sprouts, onions, green chilies, and a lemon wedge. Of course, a side dish comes with every bowl, usually pickled daikon radish. Finally, sauces have been left largely to the discretion of individual establishments, most going for a sweet brown one (hoisen-based, maybe) and a spicy red one (sriracha-based, maybe), though the distinct proprietary blends have little in common with each other. The only aspect that hasn't undergone alteration, yet, is the rice noodles.

A new pho joint opened near home along the ever-changing restaurant row of Hannam-Dong . The food's pretty good, if Koreanized as described above. Decent prices, most pho offerings 8,000 won for the smaller serving. Cute name, if a bit obvious. I hope that it sticks around.