We can easily find Vietnamese food in Paris such as spring rolls and Phở. Other than that, some restaurants can bring an extraordinary and authentic Vietnamese gastronomic experience. In this article, we introduce the Vietnamese culinary philosophy and share our secret choices in Paris.
South East Asia's agriculture and hot, rainy climate form the basis for the ingredients used in Vietnamese cuisine. And the fusion of different cultures in this land has led to a diverse approach to cuisine.
Vietnamese cuisine is about the harmony of flavors, its dishes are delicate, sweet, and sour plus a little spicy, cooked with attention to the refreshing original taste.
Deep-fried or grilled dishes are served with fresh lettuce, mint, lemongrass, basil, and other vegetables or herbs to balance greasiness. Therefore, Vietnamese food gives the impression that it has a wide variety of flavors and is non-greasy, not only with color and taste but also with meticulous and delicate craftsmanship, which is entirely cultural.
Walking into this Vietnamese restaurant on the île Saint-Louis is like being in another era. The decorations of the 1980s Vietnamese restaurant in this restaurant give us a time-travel experience by just walking through the door. Those snacks and toys on the side wall from Vietnam resemble the grocery shops near schools of the last century.
Hanoi is the capital, a city in the north of the country. The old city with its slow and chill style is different from Ho Chi Minh City, a dynamic, open, younger city from the south. If you didn't know, from the north to the south, the taste of food changed a lot. With the "same" dish Phở or Nem, people make and eat differently. In general, with Phở, we add sliced chili or chili sauce and lime juice before eating. But we have more side dishes changed from north to south
Pho of the south is sweeter, we need to add in plus some fresh herbs, soy sprouts, and black sauce made from fermented soybean. But pho Hanoi is different, all you need is a bowl prepared with noodles, meat, broth with some sliced onion, and green onion. Frequently, the bowl of Hanoi-style Pho is served with quẩy (in the form of a pair of long fried bars, chewy and crispy, made from wheat flour) and trứng chần (poached egg in pho broth). You can dip the quẩy in the bowl, add a small bite with each spoon of noodles, meat, and broth.
At Hà Nội 1988 Sao vàng, you can eat the real phở from Hà Nội, with quẩy, trứng chần, a large choice of meat toppings, and also phở bò sốt vang (phở with beef bourguignon style), like a Phở restaurant in Hà Nội.
We can say the restaurant has the best ingredient to make Phở in Paris because they make their own noodles (bánh phở) every day. The broth is cooked for 24h to have the most flavor, guaranteed by the chef who won the Hoa hồi vàng (gold anise, winner in the contest of choosing the best chef of phở in Vietnam).
And now, the time of the truth, we will tell you the dishes we tried and loved there:
The spring rolls are generous that can make a quality bite. A balanced dish with meat, fresh vegetable, and phở noodles homemade in rose rice paper made with dragon fruit. Dip in the secret sweet sauce with a hint of fruit, everything will match together.
In Paris, you can't find phở bò sốt vang easily. The beef cubes are cooked slowly with wine, and spices and served with the 24-hour broth, which gives it a rich flavor and soft texture. The secret to the delicious rice noodles here is that they are homemade and fresh, you can also have the green noodles made from spinach someday. Once you've tasted it, you can immediately find that this delicate but magical difference makes the Phở stand out from the others.
On a hot pan, in the secret sauce, egg, pate, sliced grilled beef, and pork are served with sliced baguettes.
The pan is still very hot as it is brought to the table - the heat will gradually cook and keep warm everything on the pan, so serve as soon as possible if you want a soft texture. Take a piece of baguette, dip it in the york, and add the topping you like to make a great bite.
In Vietnam, you can not find chicken pho and beef pho in the same restaurant because they use different broths. In Paris, a lot of Vietnamese restaurants can't prepare two different broths, more likely you eat chicken pho with the broth of beef pho. But it's not the case in Ha Noi 1988 Sao vang. Here, they make a different broth from the chicken bone just for their chicken pho. If you didn't have time to visit Vietnam, it's the way to taste the different and original phở gà.
They also have some good desserts and cà phê sữa đá - Vietnamese iced coffee and famous Vietnamese soft drinks to complete your meal.
The chef of the restaurant Ha Noi 1988 and Ha Noi 1988 Sao Vang is the same but Ha Noi 1988 Sao Vang is our favorite, more high quality with the original taste of the broth and the homemade noodles and different dishes.
Author: Jingxin, Thuy
Photograph: PHAN Thanh Thuy
Address: 16 - 18 Rue le Regrattier, 75004 Paris
Transportation: Metro line 7, Pont Marie / Metro line 1, Saint Paul
Opening Hours: Mon - Fri 12:00 - 15:00, 19:00 - 23:00 / Sat-Sun 12:00 - 23:00