Wednesday, April 09, 2008

For the love of Phở

The one thing I miss about school is cheap food - especially the food sold in NUS's business canteen. Though I'm from Arts, I think in my entire 2 and a half years there, 75% of my meals are from business canteen.

It is clearly because of the good food at that canteen. Perhaps I'd be more specific. Most students rave about that Western stall, but as for me, I'm crazy about something more Asian. I do love the honey roasted chicken at the Western, but I dare say it's the Vietnamese stall that I've grown to love. They serve good phở, both spicy and non-spicy. Their portions are also pretty generous. Perfect to slurp down on a cold, rainy day. Oh here's the best part - one bowl costs only $2.50. I dare say it's the cheapest phở you can ever find in Singapore! I might have a photo of it in my laptop somewhere. I'll post it up if I can find it.

Phở is one comforting dish that never fails to soothe my nerves. It's calming aroma is so distinctive. I can only imagine how the real deal tastes like. I would love to visit Vietnam someday and taste authentic street phở.

I cannot recall when I had my first bowl of phở, but this I know: the first time I tried it, I fell in love with it. I love the basil and fresh beansprouts it's usually served with. Some places serve the vegetables separately, leaving you to put it into the broth when you're ready to eat it - I prefer it this way because it ensures that the vegetables stay crisp. A healthy dish that warms even the coldest soul, phở is an amazing dish and one of Vietnam's greatest gift to the culinary world.

As much as I love phở, I've got to admit that I know very little about it, save for the fact that it's from Vietnam and that it uses rice noodles and is usually served with beef. How shameful eh? Most of the time we just eat without thinking and appreciating the history that lies behind these foods.

Nonetheless, it is never too late to be enlightened. If you're a fellow phở-lover like me who wants to find out more about phở, then I think you'd want to be at the National Museum of Singapore this Friday (11 April) at 7pm.

Phở-expert Mr. Cuong Phu Le will be here to give you a deeper insight to the well-loved noodle dish at a one-hour workshop entitled "The Story of Pho, the Story of a Nation". Mr. Le is an Australian citizen of Vietnamese descent and is also one of the world's leading experts on Phở.
Hailing from Saigon, Mr. Le still travels to Vietnam regularly and he's also the person behind a multi-disciplinary project called I LOVE PHO. In this project, Phở will be examined and interpreted through literature, visual arts, film, performance, a food festival and symposium.

Who knew phở could stir up so much passion? To find out more about Mr. Le, read Chubby Hubby's one-on-one interview with the Phở 'professional'.

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The Story of Pho, the Story of a Nation
Learn the history of Vietnam’s most well-known and unofficial national dish. Further, learn how this simple beef noodle soup represents and reflects Vietnam’s unique culture and heritage both in Vietnam and abroad. Understand how pho has travelled around the world with the Vietnamese diaspora and has, more than anything else, become a symbol of Vietnam. Salon, 7pm, $10

Tickets for The Story of Pho, the Story of a Nation can be booked online at www.nationalmuseum.sg (go to Online Booking Page) or at the Visitor Services Counter at the National Museum of Singapore (93 Stamford Road Singapore 178897). Tickets are S$10 each.

6 comments:

emilyrena said...

I can't wait to try Pho. I've heard so much about it, but there's only one decent place to get it where I live. It's nice your school had such of a variety of food. My school has the most disgusting, grease-laden American food you could find. Which is why I mostly cook for myself.

Keropok Man said...

hey hey! we got the same taste!!

I like the Vietnamese food stall the most in the whole Biz Canteen. I am usually their rice person.

If you can't find the photos, I can send the pho i ate there about two weeks ago to you. haha...

Yes, the portions are huge and at it's only $2. I love their free soup too.

Anonymous said...

Hi Yes do visit Vietnam. I am from Singapore but I go to Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh) few times a year. There are many restaurants there and also lots of things to buy - bags, shoes and many other things.

Do try to visit if you have the time as things are getting more and more expensive. Hotel rates are going up. Will be going there end of this month. Let me know if you want anything from there, eg. rice paper, cashew nuts, dried longans, etc.

Renee

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Sammy said...

I like pho, but what I like more about Vietnamese food is the broken rice with assorted meats, and their rice rolls.

For noodles, Thai beef noodles do it better for me!

O and there's this pho place my parents are crazy about (in Perth), I'll blog about it soon!

Natalis said...

Hi... Do go to Vietnam & try the pho there. And yep they serve all kinds of condiments (lemon,bean sprouts & others) on a large plate! I miss HCMC already! So much good food there.

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