The famous Pho restaurant in Hang Chieu Street, Hanoi, sells its first bowls of pho at 3:30am, even though it opens at 2 am.
For those who love Hanoi and Hanoi food, a Pho restaurant in Hang Chieu Street is a familiar address. However, the seemingly familiar turns out to have strange features. If you really want to know how special Hanoians enjoy pho and sell pho… then you must visit this restaurant once.
The owner of this special pho shop is Mrs. Hoa. At first, the restaurant opened on the sidewalk of Hang Chieu - Hang Duong intersection in 1990. The shop operated like other restaurants in Hanoi, opening at 5am and closing at around 9am. Later, in order to meet the needs of customers, the shop changed its opening hours to around 3am.
The shop opens at 2am but all customers have to wait until 3am to be served. Many people come to the restaurant at 1am to reserve seats by placing their personal belongings on the table.
“Eighty percent of the customers are regular ones. Strangers sometimes cannot wait or are upset about our service but we do not try to keep them,” Hoa's husband said.
Because it's open at night, customers here are often those coming home late from work and young people going out at night. Time is usually not urgent, so most people are willing to spend 2-3 hours just to taste a bowl of pho.
From 3:30a.m. to 7a.m., Hoa's pho restaurant serves nearly 200 customers. There are also customers who place orders via phone or on e-commerce sites.
The shop has about 25 plastic tables, each with four plastic chairs. All tables are always full. Those who come late have to stand on the street and wait until tables is available.
Waiters will go to each table to ask for customers’ order. The rule is “first comes first served”. Even though the shop is very crowded and no matter how many people are waiting, Hoa still prepares pho with a very leisurely manner.
There are three main types of pho and the price is VND50,000/bowl.
The delicious broth is the secret of Hoa's family, which creates the typical "brand" of Hanoi pho.
Hoa is the main seller, supported by only two waiters. This pho shop is the main source of income of the whole family. It "transports" the typical culinary culture of Hanoi people.
You can find bun ca in every corner of Hanoi because of its tasty combination of fried fish, rice noodles and broth. Each restaurant has its own secret to make their dish more special. So why don't you try it to see for yourself how nice it is.