Monday, December 12, 2016

Pho Ha Noi is back !

Years ago  there was a Pho Hanoi in the Evergreen area of San Jose (Capitol Expressway and Silvercreek Rd, I think). One day we found out that it was closed. We were devastated as that was the only place we knew that served northern style pho noodle soup with fresh noodle.

A few days ago as I was browsing my Facebook page, I saw a posting mentioning a new restaurant that just opened with the same name. Only one way to find out which is to give it a try.

So this weekend we decided to drop by and check it out. The location is at the Vietnam Town shopping center which is next to Grand Century Mall on Story Rd in San Jose. The shopping mall has been completed at least a few years by now. But sadly there were still a lot of empty shops. The restaurant is located at the end corner from Story Rd so just keep on going once you make a turn into the shopping mall.

This new location featured high ceiling dining area with chandelier. The tables and chairs were obviously new. It's too bad the nice granite looking tables had to be covered with paper for each customers. It's also a waste of paper.
bowl of combo beef noodle soup

We were seated right away but was left to wait around for the waitress to come and take our order. I don't know if they purposely did it that way. Normally at a pho restaurant they hardly gave you a minute to look at the menu.

I ordered a chicken pho with breast meat and no skin. Hubby ordered a combo beef pho with bean sprout. Since this restaurant serves northern style pho where they don't just give you bean sprout. You have to ask for bean sprout if you want it with your bowl of noodle. I think that's a great idea. So many times I have seen people don't even touch their bean sprout. Such a waste.
my bowl of chicken pho

Also the noodle soup here is served with fresh noodle which is more tender and almost melt in your mouth kinda of texture. I could just slurp it down without much chewing. So I was so happy with my bowl of chicken pho. The broth tasted so home made and rich of chicken flavor. I literally finished my whole bowl of noodle along with the soup. I don't normally finish the soup at other pho restaurant. The chicken breast meat was delicious and not dry though some part was a bit chewy. But it was way better than most other places that serves big chunk of dry breast meat.
Inside of the restaurant - high ceiling and chandelier

Hubby's beef pho had a combination of tripe, fatty flank and raw steak meat. The raw steak here was so tender because it had been tenderized. As you sat there waiting for your bowl to arrive you could hear the constant sound of the tenderizer against the chopping board.

The combo beef bowl was a bit disappointment though as the broth seemed to have change. The previous pho hanoi had beef broth that had distinct fragrant of star anise and a hint of ginger as you slurp it. But they seemed to be changing the formula as we couldn't smell any star anise nor taste the ginger. Also the combo bowl had fatty flank which hubby didn't particularly enjoy. So if you don't like really fatty flank don't order the combo.

Pho Ha Noi
969 Story Rd, San Jose, CA 95122
Phone: (408) 239-0888