New Tự Do (102 Bowery St., between Grand and Hester)
How much was a bowl?
Did they understand what cilantro is? (I don’t like cilantro but I’m ok with onion)
No cilantro but no onion either
How tasty was the soup? How spicy was it?
I like the soup. It’s quite heavy on fermented shrimp paste so it can turn a lot of people off. It’s also not quite spicy enough for me so I added 2 squirts of Sriracha. It’s definitely not an expensive-tasting soup. It tastes like a bowl you’d get at a hole-in-the-wall. But I really like it actually.
Did they give enough noodles and how were they?
Not really enough noodles. The weird thing was that most of the noodles were too soft but some were a bit undercooked. I’m not sure how they managed that.
I wish the beef was a bit more tender. They don’t stand out as super tasty but it’s fine. It also came with chả lụa and it was fine. Basically the meat was pretty ordinary.
The pieces I got were meaty and easy to eat. Unfortunately, they weren’t marinated well enough. I actually sprinkled a little bit of salt on them. They also could’ve been a bit more tender.
Yes actually. The pieces were a bit hard and not marinated or seasoned enough. Still, kudos for having them at all.
Side of veggies?
Bean sprouts, lime and Thai basil.
Last words on this experience:
I would definitely come back for another bowl if I’m craving one that’s shrimpier and saltier, especially at $6.95. I’m not sure if I would bring a first-timer here though since the shrimpiness might be a bit too much.