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Feb 15, 2013 07:32 PM

Vietnamese gem in H-Mart food court

In the past when I went to the H-Mart food court I usually headed straight to the far-left stall for Korean soups. I had tried the other stalls that are Japanese, Chinese, and Thai, but they are Korean-style versions of those cuisines, which I mostly don't care for (the ramen at the Japanese place is especially bad). So I was pleasantly surprised when I started eating at the Vietnamese stall (Pho Sure). The Dry Style Saigon Noodles (yellow noodle version) stands out especially. Soft kinky yellow noodles (think Hong Kong style wonton noodles) are topped with shrimp, thinly sliced BBQ pork, Chinese greens, fresh cilantro, bits of fried onion, and a boiled quail egg. At the bottom is a layer of light soy-sauce-and-scallion-based sauce. You get a hot bowl of broth on the side for sipping. I usually get it with an order of piping hot spring rolls fresh out of the fryer that comes with a side of pickled daikon and carrots. Good stuff.

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  1. Oh wow, those dry yellow noodles are one of my favorites, especially if you can get them in a slightly wider shape (like linguine-sized). Thanks!

    5 Replies
    1. re: Luther

      I tried this yesterday and I thought it was passable but not especially good. Really not much flavor going on in there, and a ton of scallion tops. The side soup was just salty, no pronounced cilantro/fried shallot flavor like it should have. Spring rolls were freshly fried but the mushy filling didn't have much flavor either. At $13.50 for the two items it didn't seem worth it.

      1. re: Luther

        Is there any place around Boston that does a better version of those noodles? They sound wonderful.

        1. re: Allstonian

          This sounds silly but the best version I ever had of the "mixed meats" style was at the long-gone Buddha's Delight Too in Brookline, and all the meats were fake because it was a vegetarian restaurant. But the flavors and textures were just right, and the soup had that perfect taste. This dish used the linguine-width dry yellow noodles.

          The best dry yellow noodles dish I've ever had was one with thin noodles and a braised duck leg, at Mi La Cay in Garden Grove, CA. I've never seen this particular presentation in Boston.

          To try other versions of this dish (which I believe is generally called "mi kho thap cam" or "mi kho dac biet" meaning combo/special dry egg noodles) I would first try out Xinh Xinh or Pho 2000, which do a great job with a variety of noodle dishes. I'm pretty sure I had it once at Xinh Xinh and thought it was pretty good, but didn't rival the best I'd ever had.

          An important distinction is that these yellow noodles ("mi") are not the same as the Chinese "min" that are used in wanton noodles. They both are chewy and yellow but "min" I believe contain more alkali and are therefore chewier and have a stronger distinctive flavor. The use of "min" at Pho Sure was somewhat upsetting, but I figure they get all of their ingredients from H-Mart, and not from whatever Vietnamese supplier one might otherwise use.

          1. re: Luther

            I often order it at Xinh Xinh, and I agree that it's quite good there.

        2. re: Luther

          O.K. I admit it was my first time to try this dish so I didn't have any reference. I would love to try it somewhere where it's really good so I can compare.