the lunch i didn't eat.

there are a few restaurants in our office building, but the one i go to the most is phô, a vietnamese restaurant which specialises in (cough) phô, a noodle-rrific soup. i will confess that i don't actually like phô all that much (i like dry noodles more than wet ones), but there's plenty of other items on the menu for me.

the thing i usually order to go is cold noodles (or as it's sometimes known at phô, cold noodle noodles)--a salad of rice vermicelli noodles, barbecued meats, various shredded raw veggies, and crushed peanuts. it's served with a too fishy fish sauce and vinegar, so sometimes i swap it out with a peanut sauce or finadene.

it is a lovely, lovely dish, especially on hot summer days, but a series of unfortunate events involving long lines and traffic, led me astray and i filled my belly with somethin' else. eh. i'll have it for dinner.


Hi Santos,

I believe the cold noodle is actually called bun cha. It is normally served with grilled pork, veggies and nuoc mam (fish sauce). I'm told that the fish sauce is what makes this dish. I usually have this with beef and imperial rolls.

The one you had there looks delicious!

thanks for the proper name! the nuoc mam makes the dish, huh. i have to tell you, i really, really, really, REALLY despise what the fish sauce does to this dish, there's something about it that i find really jarring with the barbecued meat and the peanuts. i like nuoc mam/nam pla/patis (if it's good, that is), and i've tried this with several brands, but there's something about it in this dish which absolutely disagrees with me (but apparently no one else!).

Hi Santos,

Do you usually pour the fish sauce over everything? If so, perhaps you should try dipping the noodles in the fish sauce. That's how I eat it. I don't really like fish sauce that's too "fishy" either though. The meat is nice with garlic chilli sauce. =)

yeah, i've tried it every which way--with everything, as a dip, cut with vinegar, cut with chili sauce--i just don't like it with this dish. i'm sure it's *meant* to be eaten with it (otherwise, why would they always give me two containers of it :-)), my personal preference is without.