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Everything You Need to Know About Ulsan

Friend or….Pho?

If you’ve been craving Vietnamese food or are just looking for something new and interesting to try, than look no further than Samsandong and a restaurant named Hoa Bihn.

Hoa Binh is a fine Vietnamese establishment with a unique décor that you won’t find many places.  When you enter, you will find that a large part of the dining area is covered by a veritable forest of fake trees and foliage that add an interesting atmosphere to your dining experience.

The menu itself is almost completely in Korean save for the names of most of the dishes, and because the staff’s English is lacking, it is suggested that someone with special dietary needs (i.e. vegetarian/vegan, food allergies, etc.) be prepared to speak in Korean or bring a Korean friend along with them.  Beyond that inconvenience, the menu has colorful and realistic pictures of each dish, so even if you are not familiar with Vietnamese food, you can still make a few educated guesses and come up with some appetizing options.

Our meal consisted of crab rolls (fried), the mild fried Pho noodles and a “make your own spring roll” platter.  The noodle dish was tasty, and as the name suggested, very mild in flavor.  There are other more spicy options for those who prefer it or want more “heat” to their food.  The spring roll platter was made up of a large number of vegetable, lettuce, and meat options as well as two different kinds of sauces to create your own ideal spring roll.  For a total bill of about 34,000, there was more than enough food to satisfy two very hungry people and could easily have been shared between three or four.

All in all the food was good, the atmosphere comfortable and clean, the prices reasonable, the toilet seats heated, and the staff nice enough.  I cannot comment on the authenticity of the food, but I will definitely be back to try some more traditional menu options such as the Pho soups and rice dishes, and I know that I will again be satisfied with my dining experience.

To get there, begin at the bus stop in front of the Lotte Hotel in Samsandong.  Walk down to the Starbucks on the corner and turn left.  Walk past Pho Ban and turn right at the first corner you come to.  Hoa Bihn will be on the right hand side.