Photo © Rob Whitworth - Getty Images
Star chef David Myers experiences incredible traffic and beef-blood soup with raw egg yolk on a trip to Ho Chi Minh City.
At home in L.A., I operate at Mach 6 speed, but in Ho Chi Minh City, I learned how to slow down. Imagine millions of motorbikes and no rules. The only way to cross the street on foot is one inch at a time. It’s counterintuitive: You might think you’d have to be aggressive to navigate that chaos, but going slowly is the only way.
Of course, I had to keep up once I joined the throng on wheels. My former sous-chef Shawn Pham (currently living in Ho Chi Minh City) loaned me a bike, and together we whizzed around, hitting 12 places a day—six at lunch and six at dinner, not to mention pho for breakfast. I particularly loved Pho Dau (288 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Q3), which serves the noodle soup Northern-style. Most Vietnamese restaurants in the US garnish the soup with bean sprouts, basil, lime and chile, Southern-style. Northern-style pho has fewer garnishes, the idea being that the rich beef broth is perfect as is. You can also order a raw egg yolk, which you drop into a small side of beef-blood soup. It’s a hell of a way to start the day.