Pho Restaurant (Quan Pho) on hilly Huynh Thuc Khang Street, Ward 4 in the Central Highlands resort town is easy to locate with its bright purple front.
Many of its patrons are those intrigued by the bright purple rice noodles, the color derived from the magenta plant.
Tran To Huyen, the 45-year-old owner, said: “Since the noodles are soaked in a magenta plant solution, few understand how the dish manages to retain its original flavor. While the soaking process helps the noodles achieve a chewy texture and an aesthetically-pleasing shade, it does not affect the taste at all.”
Purple beef noodles (bun bo) are served in a stone bowl. Photo by VnExpress/Nhien Hye.
“Initially we did a daily rotation of meat for our noodle soup. Some days we used pork ribs, while other days we use chicken meat. Overtime, we noticed the beef noodle soup attracted the most interest and stuck to it,” Huyen said.
The Covid-19 pandemic took a toll on Huyen’s restaurant, leading to her creation of the unique dish.
Thai Thi Anh Linh, 22-year-old from Da Nang City, traveled to Da Lat and learned of the violet noodles from social media. “I really like the space because everything is purple. Even though the dishes are a bit salty for my liking, good service completely compensates for this little shortcoming,” she said.
Contradictorily, Dang Nguyen Thao Nhien, 25, from Lam Dong Province relished the restaurant dishes. Similar to Linh, Nhien also complimented its top-notch customer service.
Aside from purple noodle soup, Pho Restaurant, opened two years ago, also serves purple milk tea. Warm taro milk is another signature beverage of the restaurant. Prices here range from VND5,000 to 40,000 ($1.5-1.7).
The purple theme runs throughout the interior and exterior of the restaurant. Photo by VnExpress/Nhien Hye.