That's a big sloppy wet kiss for my Food and Beverage Manager, Uncle Simon.
It should be a manly handshake and the polite clink of a beer can, but we're both consuming a lot less amber fluid these days, and the lunch was so good that the handshake just wouldn't cut it.
Simmo was hyper-excited last week about his dirty secret addiction – a lip-smackingly tasty bowl of noodles, broth and assorted proteins known as Banh Canh.
The dribbling and stuttering as he urged me to this unassuming wee pleasure palace convinced me that it had to be tried. Soon.
I was off today so I decided to walk over the bridge and check out the offerings.
Apparently it was over the Han River Bridge, first on your right, and half way down on the right hand side.
The directions were flawless.
I assumed that this was the place, and yes, it was open.
The chairs were perfect to blog about, if not so fantastic to support a sturdy posterior like my own.
As per yesterday's post, this is standard around town, so I lowered myself onto one gingerly and tried to fit my knees somewhere.
As is also normal, the floor was littered with 'tissues' from lunch, even though bins were strategically placed.
You get used to it, but I still can't bring myself to throw food scraps and tissues around like some frat party animal when dining out.
The cheerful(ish) young lady who was eyeing me cautiously as I walked in almost exploded with relief when I said "Banh Canh" and abruptly sat.
I think she was worried she might have to attempt a foreign language, but I was too hungry to try and converse.
Literally minutes later, a steaming bowl of noodle soup was plonked in front of me.
It smelled great.
Accompanying it was a fried bread stick.
In Thailand it's known as 'patongkoh' and I used to eat the same in the Chinese restaurants spotted around Ashfield in Sydney.
I normally steer away from it in Asia but with this it was a perfect match.
I was dunking this bad boy like a fat man with a bag of cookies and a coffee vat.
The broth was topped with ram leaf, or Vietnamese mint / Vietnamese coriander, depending on where you're from.
It tasted exceptional.
As described by my arm-waving peer, the noodles were thick stodgyish white rice things that are similar to Udon noodles.
They floated in a clear tasty stock and the standard garnish for this place was a mix of fresh peeled baby shrimp, a chunk of tender braised pork on the bone, quail egg, and strips of chopped pork meatloaf – a local delicacy that's sort of like Devon or Bologna, only better.
There's also a version with thick 'udon' shaped noodles made from tapioca starch, so both options are gluten free.
The texture of the noodles was outstanding and overall it was worth all the raving.
I had no need for the collection of condiments spread across the table, bar one.
Due to my own dirty addiction, I made use of the chilli flakes.
I must tell Simon that I have a bone to pick with him. But I ended up picking it all by myself.
A really great lunch. Please – try a banh canh and fall in love with it.
Pho is slowly getting edged out of the noodle soup race.