I hurried down to the reception, ordered a Grab, guesstimated I would arrive there just before closing but didn't want to be that toolbox coming in 1 minute before and asking for service. Of course the driver I was dealt was an aging tortoise and kicked his laboured beast into action with three kicks and a cough (not mentioning the motorbike). We "roared" away on perilous roads and the next 30 minutes of my life buffered by gazing at skyscrapers, white knuckle-riding on a spluttering scooter being overtaken by faster objects.
By some miraculous manner he reached at 8.38pm and I ran in and politely asked if they were still serving. There was a table of exceedingly loud American's (shouting I MAAKE THE BEEEST BUUUURGAAAARS DUUUUDE) and me. I sat down, ordered immediately so as not to pose any further nuisance, in a panic of "forgetting i'm in Vietnam but it's a Japanese restaurant" threw the napkin into the basket under the table (as one does in Pho restaurants with the stems of herbs), sweatingly remembered that's where people put their purses or bags, scooped them out only to notice the waiter giggling under his floppy hair. I smiled and did the "i'm an idiot" shrug. We were instant friends. It was at that moment I perused the wall, noticing a shiny new poster saying " New branch opened Dec 7th". Today was December 10th. The new branch was 10 minutes from my hotel and open until 2 am.....
The bowl came out with a string quartet playing imaginary tunes of reverence. Silky Tonkotsu broth lay punishingly bullied by the weight of a perfectly cooked amber teardrop egg. Hard noodles (I asked for them) curled up like obedient snakes under a deep lake above. Pork this tender almost shouldn't be touched, lest it disintegrates into a seasoning flake that took far too long to prepare.
Another sure fire hit in the endless cannonball run of great food.
These recommendations are just personal opinions based on my palate, things change, chefs get fired or replaced, places open-close, relocate, so take it all with a pinch of MSG and discover your own gems too. But please do try a few of these, they have been researched exhaustively.
"Sadness is tempered by umami, grief by the motion of slurping, hope restored by the ladling of glistening, fatty broth"