Off the grog and on the grub again at Ben Thanh Market. This time for a soup stop at stall 1080. Bun Bo Hue is yet another of those Vietnamese non-soups. Much like Mi Quang and Bun Rieu the bowl’s burstin’ with bits of this ‘n’ that and your dish ends up far less soup, much more saucy meat noodle potpourri.
The name itself gives this dish away, Bun Bo Hue comes from the central region of Hue. More precisely, the real deal (apparently) comes from Gia Hoi. The key is the broth. It has a sweet tang to it and ladled in among the liquid are fatty pork slivers, rare beef, chopped spring onions, two kinds of spamsticks and fairly thick fresh bun (noodles). There’s also a side dish of beansprouts, saw tooth herb and peculiar to Bun Bo Hue is the stripped end of a banana. (I say the ‘end’ as I wasn’t sure what it was, so I asked the guy next me who said it was the ‘banana end’. I’m inclined to believe we’re talking green banana here, although my man insisted it wasn’t… hmmm??) Anyhow… chuck a bit of what you fancy into your broth/saucy noodle bowl combo and get stuck in.
The spam sticks are slightly sweet, beef is tender enough and the pork fat gets trimmed as a matter of course wherever it rears its ugly head. The tepid soup was blindin’, it was due top praise with a bowl tilting slurp draining all remaining broth drops. The moorish crunch of banana ‘ends’ (if that’s what they actually are) gives this dish ten tropical rustic points out of ten. It’s good filling stuff for 10,000VD. This stall also churns out four other noodle soups; Bun Mam, Mien Ga, Bun Moc and Hu Tieu.