This is a Bun Bo Hue specialty restaurant. You’ll find this scuzzy shack at 19bis Tran Co Van Street in District 1. I dropped by to pick up a ‘mang di ve‘ – that’s a takeaway to you and me. Bun Bo Hue is a beef noodle soup consisting of thick bun (vermicelli noodles), thin cuts of beef, a couple of varieties of spamsticks dressed up in a blindin’ sweet meat-thick broth. We’ve sampled it on the market before. Each order comes with a hedgerow side dish and a plate of the meanest red chillies in Vietnam. I swear, if these thugs were boozers, they’d arrive on a fleet of Harley’s, wedge their machetes into the bar surface and order a line of shooters. There’s only ever gonna be one end to any relationship with these hooligans and it won’t be pretty. Call up Dynorod, make an advance booking for early morning. Fear factor aside for a minute, this is a solid Bun Bo Hue, and importantly for clueless scoffers like myself, it’s massive with Saigonese. It’ll set you back 11,000VD to mang di ve, 10,000VD in house. Whatever you do, don’t knock the Harley over on your way out.
This joint is directly opposite the best Bun cha shed I’ve found in Saigon so far which I noticed has broken with tradition and serves this lunchtime only dish into the night.