You come across dishes that stick with you forever even if you never eat them again; fried soup (what I call it) is one of those dishes I for me. I came across it in Hanoi in 2008. I searched for the restaurant this time but it had changed owners; also lost was a great little snail soup place across the street. We stayed at a hotel on the same street at the time so we knew we had to go back and find it. The pictures I have here are from 2010. The name I give it is half true as the meat and vegetables are the only fried part of the dish; the rest is a beef broth Pho.
I should have taken more photos when I was there as I only have a few of a dish I really liked. I have pushed to get this dish included in our menu but there are a few hurtles to get over first. I am the only one really into this dish as yet but I will try to find a way to get it on the menu someday.
The soup is special as the frying of the beef and vegetable gave an added flavour that you do not get with the other Pho. The taste of caramelization of the meat juices and sugars present in the ingredients gave it a special taste. Now the problem for us is it also gave a good measure of fat to the dish that is kind of counter to what we normally do. I also suspect that the soup may not be a traditional Vietnamese recipe rather a new or invented dish.