The basic components of pho are simple: clear beef stock, thick rice noodles, herbs or green onion, and thinly sliced raw beef that cooks in the hot broth. Pho Tin does it differently.
Forty years ago, founder Nguyen Trong Thin began stir-frying his beef in garlic before adding it to the broth, and that’s a large part of the reason his tiny Hanoi eatery, which has served the same recipe since 1979, is consistently packed.
This is the first Pho Thin branch outside of Asia (and only the second outside Vietnam). It’s owned by husband and wife team Nguyen Lam and Duyen Le Ky. The pair travelled all over their native country in search of the best pho before convincing Thin to let them export his concept. Picture frames on the wall show newspaper clippings about the original Pho Thin and a photo of its founder.
Aside from the stir-fried beef, you can choose from a beef brisket, poached chicken or red-wine pho. Each bowl comes with flat rice noodles and a big serve of chopped spring onion and coriander. You can also add a raw egg yolk and a Chinese doughnut – long, thin and crunchy – meant to be dipped in the soup.
To drink there’s fresh coconut juice, Vietnamese iced coffee and Vietnamese beer. One red wine and one white round out the drinks list.