free pho

25 Jan

london 1.41pm 12.1C sunny friday 2019

i have just been to my first freebie since i broke my right foot, and first freebie of the year. it is at pho, a vietnamese eating place near oxford st. i got a free beef steak and brisket pho. i also get to meet the other freebies go-ers, asian women, who were queueing up. even though it was so early 11.15am. when it opens at 12noon. there were 3 of them, so we shared a table. one of them ordered giant prawns, and when i saw what she got i wished i had ordered them instead. haha. it came with a plate of  basil, coriander leaves, bean sprouts which u are supposed to put into the bowl yourself.

in the street stalls in vietnam it seems these are placed on the tables, for the diners to help themselves to any amount they like. but here of course it is just one plate. this is the first time i have eaten pho. Pronounced like fur.

pho is similar to the chinese noodle soups, except the chinese add all the ingredients before hand and pour hot soup over it. and it will have noodles in it. for this meal, we got ho -fun noodles. (flat noodles). my dish normally cost £9.50. the prawn dish is £1 more.

its quite nice , though the broth was  salty but that is normal with restaurant foods nowadays. but i think people get used to it. as it is,  i drank all the soup so i must have got used to the saltiness. the others made a mistake by putting the chilli oil they have on the table to the bowl itself , rather than put it on the side plate like i did to dip. it was very spicy for them. so they were not able to finish it completely. 

i like being at the head of the queue, as we will get to eat first. if u are back at the queue u have to wait till those in front have lingered over their meal and vacated their seat before u can get seated. i thought they have only 100 meals to give away but their website did not mention this limit. just said that it will be served from 12 to 4pm, and mentioned that as long as u join the queue before 4pm u will get it. so if they really continue to serve till the end, that would be very generous of them. 



whilst waiting in the queue, we saw a load of groceries being delivered and i saw fried bean curd on the trolley. it would be nice to have that in our soup. i wonder which dish have that. fried bean curd (found out they are not called fried bean curd but its tou fou pok) usually used in laksa.

is quite expensive in the chinatown grocery stores, so maybe that is why it is not a common ingredient.

i can remember back in malaysia it is a cheap ingredient, but maybe nowadays it has become expensive. so many cheap ingredients that i remember from my childhood are now expensive. ikan bilis, dried prawns, curry leaves used to be poor man’s food. but now i cannot find any ikan bilis or dried prawns on sale in chinatown. 

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