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Monday, October 10, 2016

Northern Style Pho - San Francisco

Chicken pho @ Turtle Tower Restaurant
The following 2 Vietnamese noodle place mentioned below have been around forever. I had the review from the previous visit to Turtle Tower Restaurant here. And Pho Quan Ngon here. We have been able to stop by these two restaurants recently just to refresh our memory.

Turtle Tower Restaurant

This northern style pho restaurant has a few locations in San Francisco according to Google. I am not sure if they're related. The one we went to was on Geary. The other two were on Larkin and on 6th St.

The pho served here uses fresh rice noodle which was a bit wider and more slippery. But since it's fresh so it absorbed the broth flavor better. At this location we ordered chicken pho and bun cha hanoi which were more typical to the northern style Vietnamese cuisine.
Bun cha hanoi @ Turtle Tower Restaurant. Mix a bit of noodle, meat and herbs. Voila !

The pho came out hot with lots of chopped green onion and cilantro floating on the surface. The broth was clearly oilier compared to our typical bowl of noodle soup. The flavor was stronger too. Sriracha sauce was not needed at all. The condiment provided was sliced serrano chili and wedge of lime. The chicken was smaller pieces but juicy and tender. Some part of chicken still included the skin.

Bun cha hanoi was similar to bun thit nuong (grilled pork served on vermicelli). But in bun cha hanoi,  the grilled pork came with grilled pork patties separated on a smaller bowl with it's juices. Then the vermicelli came on a separate platter with the lettuce and herbs (mint, cilantro, etc). Another empty bowl was provided so you could place your vermicelli, meat, herbs and served all mixed together. The pork patties and the grilled pork was smoky and oh so well marinated.

Pho Quan Ngon

This restaurant had been around for quite a while. And we were glad that we found it. Though ideally it would have been better if we live closer.

This time we decided to confirm whether they have decent chicken pho and they surely pass. The broth was flavorful and strong. The chicken pieces was juicy and tender. The broth was a bit oilier than most pho that we had. I guess that's the key to the flavorful broth ?

The beef pho was no brainer. The smooth slippery noodle was the key to this northern style pho. The fresh noodle absorb the flavor of the broth better. And since it was soft, you pretty much just slurped it down without much chewing. I also loved the meat ball that came with the beef pho. It's chewy and really reminded me of the Indonesian style bakso. 

Turtle Tower Restaurant
5716 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121
(415) 221-9890

Pho Quan Ngon
2511 Noriega St, San Francisco, CA 94122
Phone: (415) 566-3275