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Hanoi Pho shop sells hundreds of bowls/per day thanks to the owner’s “super-memory”

An unsigned beef noodle shop located in a small alley of Tho Xuong serves several hundred guests every morning. In addition to the affordable price, and the characteristic sweet and fragrant pho, the restaurant is famous because the owner remembers each customer well.

Pho restaurant is located in a small alley, behind the Cathedral. The shop is quite small, the gate can only fit two people to avoid each other, there are no signs but always crowded with customers. From 7:30 to 9 a.m. is the peak time for too: Dozens of tables and chairs in the house are packed, the owner has to arrange plastic chairs at the door of the neighbor’s house for customers to sit “temporarily”, the four kitchen assistants work quickly without any problems. timely payment.

The owner of this pho restaurant is Mrs. Oanh (born in 1975). Ms. Oanh said that the restaurant’s pho is the original pho from Nam Dinh, and the recipe for beef pho was passed down from her grandparents. At that time, the old man selling pho carried around the Phu Doan area. By the time of Mrs. Oanh’s father, she sold pho under a cooperative. “After my father retired, I directly worked in the kitchen, so far it has been more than 20 years. I still try to keep as much as possible the recipe left by my grandfather and father,” said Mrs. Oanh.

Hanoi Pho shop sells hundreds of bowls/per day thanks to the owner’s “super-memory”
Ms. Oanh – the shop owner is busy making pho from 6:30 am to 13 pm.
Crispy buckets at the restaurant are loved by many people because they are boiled just to be cooked, keeping the fresh taste.

Ms. Oanh said her family’s pho restaurant changed address many times before she and her husband moved to Tho Xuong Lane. According to the owner, 90% of diners at the restaurant are regular customers, have been with them for many years, have enjoyed pho since the time when Mrs. Oanh’s father was still selling. “There are many customers in the shop who are 70-80 years old. They are still used to calling the restaurant after my grandfather’s name – Pho Tho, instead of my name,” said Ms. Oanh.

Pho here has two types of cakes: small and big. The big noodle soup is hand-sliced. The beef part is thinly sliced, sliced ​​to where it is sold, smashed and then boiled with pho broth to keep the sweetness, aroma and nutrients.
Every day, Ms. Oanh prepares two “super big” broths. The broth is started to simmer from about 14 pm the previous day and sold at 6 am the next morning.
Ms. Oanh ordered beef and pho from a familiar establishment for many years to ensure a stable and quality source of ingredients.
Ms. Oanh said that every day, the shop imports 60-70kg of bones and discarded meat to make pho.

Pho Ba Oanh is commented by diners as having a rich taste, fragrant broth but not strong smell of cinnamon and anise. 

“A specialty” of the shop is the “superior memory” of Mrs. Oanh.

“Are you still selling fish?”

“Does Tuan “sports” have dandruff again?”

“Call Miss Loan to get up to eat pho, wait for pho to fall asleep!”…

Ms. Oanh remembers the names of hundreds of guests and their tastes.

Some grandmothers call them by nicknames, others distinguish them according to their fat or thin shape, their profession… Her hands are quick to slice meat, always working without time to rest, but Mrs. Oanh is always smiling, welcoming, and just reminds her employees. The staff made pho quickly, while not forgetting to joke with customers waiting for pho.

“The shop can only serve a few dozen customers at the same time, so at peak hours, customers often have to wait for a place, wait for pho. On weekends, many people have to wait 15-20 minutes. Fortunately, most of them are regular customers, so they all understand. “, Ms. Oanh said.

The shop has a variety of dishes for diners to choose from such as rare pho, rare cooked, rare bucket or tender meat…, all priced at 30,000 VND. 

The bowl of pho is cooked in the style of Nam Dinh pho.
The pho restaurant is hidden in a small alley but always crowded with customers from inside, outside the yard… to the sidewalk.
The space inside the restaurant is quite tight and hot, but many people like this location because they can observe Mrs. Oanh making pho.

Mr. Tran Long (a regular customer of the restaurant) shared: “First of all, this pho restaurant has a good broth, not really excellent, but for 30,000 VND / bowl, I rate it as excellent. full, the meat is not too much but fresh, delicious, sweet”.

As for Ms. Minh Tu (Hoan Kiem, Hanoi) shared: “I have eaten through many famous delicious pho restaurants in Hanoi. Ms. Oanh’s restaurant calls it “popular pho” but the quality is good compared to the price. Beef is fresh and delicious, sweet without smell, and crispy bucket.

Of course, for that price, each bowl of pho has a little bit of meat. The hostess has a habit of putting a small spoonful of noodles in the bowl, so if you don’t want to eat this seasoning, you should remind them carefully.”

With an affordable price for a delicious bowl of pho in the heart of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, along with the restaurant’s dedicated service attitude, perhaps these are the reasons why Ms. Oanh’s pho restaurant welcomes several hundred customers a day. 

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