Noodles

THE ARCHITECTURE OF FOOD #1: PHO by George Qin

I need an outlet to practice my sketching skills, which have been in decline for a LONG time. I was also thinking about food and this is partially about my "gastronomic and culinary adventures" anyway - so my natural response was to be lazy and combine the two. And thus begins a new series of my architectural sketches of food. I give you: The architecture of food.

There are 3 stages of Phở: Existing, Demolition and Completion.

There are 3 stages of Phở: Existing, Demolition and Completion.

Phở is the Vietnamese rice noodle with soup that has become a Sydney foodie favourite. Cheap, quick and savoury - this bowl is hearty as fuck. And don't get me started on the sides. Pick your own condiments - from Hoisin, Sriracha, fresh chilli and roasted chilli oil; or mix and match. Vietnamese mint is the only required addition to the bowl - which traditionally comes with rare beef slices that cook in the steaming hot broth, spring onions and thinly sliced white onions. The reason it isn't added for you prior to eating is due to its susceptibility to turn black when cooking, which can be unappetizing.

Personally I'm a bit of a purist when it comes to phở - I like to add bean sprouts for texture, and of course the required Vietnamese mint. Then, taking a sip of the broth, I add the lemon/lime for a tangy twist to the game like M. Night Shyamalan. Occasionally I will stray from this with a touch of Hoisin, fresh chilli or roasted chilli oil to the broth once I'm bored of the soup flavour, which usually happens about halfway in. Nevertheless, that first mouthful still gives the best flavour kick every time. After that, you just get hooked on the flavour train that doesn't stop 'til it's over - like a good version of Mr. Bones Wild Ride.

I know I'm being a little unfair by saying this, but if a restaurant offers it on their menu, then I judge its worth as a Vietnamese restaurant by the quality of their beef noodle soup. I feel like if you're going to offer something as simple as a bowl of beef noodles, then at least do it right.