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Phở Discovery At The Anam, Vietnam
Saturated in history and culture, Vietnam’s famed phở amounts to much more than disarming beefy broth, distinctive rice noodles and a mélange of fresh green herbs and garnishes.
To pay homage to the humble beef noodle soup, renowned for building a nation and anchoring Vietnam’s identity, the Anam has introduced a culinary cooking tour that delves into phở’s rich origins and teaches budding chefs how to concoct the dish in a traditional and authentic fashion.
As part of the day-long “Phở Discovery" experience, a local cook takes travellers rummaging through local farms, markets and a noodle-making house to gather fresh ingredients before a cooking lesson at the chef’s quaint house in the neighbouring countryside.
The culinary journey kicks off with Vietnamese coffee at a local bakery, during which the chef talks guests through phở’s history from humble-street stall beginnings to worldwide gastronomic phenomenon. Guests glean facts about the dish little known outside of Vietnam, including the differences between regional variations and its uses including one as a cure for common colds and illnesses.
The small group then heads to a nearby farmer’s market and herb garden to hand-pick ingredients before visiting a noodle-making house to see how phở rice noodles are crafted. The chef introduces guests to local farmers and artisans all the while, translating fascinating insights into their trades and daily lives.
With straw baskets brimming with fresh produce, guests are welcomed into the chef’s family home for the cooking class, where a centuries-old pho recipe handed down the generations comes to life.
In addition to learning how to make phở bò (beef noodle soup) authentically without toning down spice or flavour, just as the Vietnamese would when cooking it for themselves, guests will also taste phở gà (chicken noodle soup) and different regional specialities including phở tái lăn (Hanoi-style flash-fried steak and garlic). Seafood and vegan options are also on offer.
All of the dishes are then served up for the group to indulge together as they share tales and experiences from their respective cultures before guests return to the The Anam with a recipe book to keep.
The Anam’s ‘Phở Discovery’ cultural cooking tour is offered daily from 9am at The Anam and includes transfers, tour guide, entrance fees, coffee, a three-course meal including soft drinks and local beer, recipes and insurance. It is priced from VND 1,360,000 (RM250) per person based on a family or group of 5-6 guests. Prices for smaller groups and families are available on request. Nightly rates at The Anam start from VND 4,660,000 (RM830) for a Balcony Garden View Room.