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拉面 La Mian World

the quest for the perfect noodle

As we all (didn’t) know, the noodles used for Japanese Ramen are not hand pulled but, according to the universal brain wikipedia, cut with a knife. Pho is the name of a Vietnamese dish which contains noodles made from rice and not from wheat flour. There are a lot of people writing about, taking photos of and running blogs about Ramen. Pho on the other hand is less talked about and also it may be harder to find a specialised Pho than a Ramen restaurant around the world. I love Pho and I enjoy Ramen. But: Nothing beats hand pulled La Mian.

After leaving Hong Kong and enjoying a relaxed flight on ANA to Haneda airport I stayed in Tokyo for two days. Since I had no time to research on La Mian availability in Tokyo I forced my Japanese colleague to take me to a nice Ramen shop. Tokyo is an amazing city and I like to walk and explore its different quarters, little alleys and massive boulevards. At the very point when we decided to head for Ramen, no appropriate place could be found. August in Tokyo is very hot. It was extremely hot on that day and after we finally found the right, tiny little Ramen restaurant I was already drenched. With the nuclear crisis and savings on electricity still in full force there was no air conditioning available. We settled down at the bar and watched the Ramen chefs prepare our orders of 900 Yen Ramen per bowl. The Ramen was great and on the street later I showed off  my new wet-style see-through white shirt.

One week later in Vietnam the great challenge for me was to not eat Pho three times per day. It is a marvelous breakfast, a good lunch snack and a light dinner. If you happen to be in Hanoi try Mai Anh’s chicken noodle soup, it is fantastic.

Actually I prefer the soup with thinly sliced beef fillet called Phở Bò Tái. The meat comes almost still rare and is all soft and tasty. So far all the Pho’s I tried in Vietnam were so good that I had to finish even the broth to the last drop. Hardcore Pho enthusiasts will probably hate me for saying that I also really like the Pho at the chain eateries of Pho 24.

Mai Anh Restaurant, 32 Le Van Huu Street, Hanoi

Pho 24, many outlets across Vietnam, see website

or try in Singapore:

Pho 99, 57 Amoy Street, Singapore

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