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Vietnam

Vietnam

Featuring Green Tangerine, Cafe Giảng, Banh Mi 37 Nguyen Trai, Bánh Mì Huỳnh Hoa, Banh Cuon Thanh Van, Banh Mi Hong Hoa, Bún Cá Yến Nha Trang, Mien luon Dong Thinh, Quan an ngon 138, Pham ngu lao street
Jason Wong
Jason Wong

Sometimes the best food experiences are unplanned ones. We were meant to go to Bún Riêu Nguyễn Cảnh Chân for their crab and tomato broth noodles, unfortunately someone in their family had passed and they were closed for the day. We walked down the street looking for something, anything really, to eat and came across this restaurant specialising in Bún Cá, a relatively unknown vermicelli noodle dish from the coastal city of Nha Trang, packed with fishcake, baby squid and even a type of jellyfish I haven’t tried before. The fish and pork broth was light and clean tasting, sweetened with tomatoes and pineapple. Overall, a very healthy yet delicious bowl of nourishing noodle soup.

Taste: 3.5/5

So besotted was I with this bowl of noodles that I immediately returned the next morning for breakfast. Think pimped up bak chor mee with all the trimmings, except tenfold better. In lieu of kway teow(hu tieu), pleasurably chewy al-dente egg noodles laced with a smorgasbord of protein the likes of minced pork, liver, prawns and quail egg, as well as a scattering of fried shallots, young garlic shoots and spring onions, combined to create a chain reaction of flavours that resonated with all around the table. They served this with an insanely good chilli meat sauce on the side, which I spooned liberal amounts of over my noodles. And finally, that pork soup, packed with so much umami(and I highly suspect, lots of MSG), that it left me craving for seconds.

Taste: 4.5/5

3 Likes

What an amazing DIY spring roll this was – sweet and tender pieces of grilled marinated pork, crunchy skin and pickled vegetables rolled up in rice paper. It’s served with a creamy and rich egg sauce that was absolutely addictive.

Taste: 3.5/5

2 Likes

I generally prefer Bun Bo Hue to Pho for its more robust flavour and spiciness. The broth here is less spicy and cleaner tasting than how they would traditionally make it, lacking the potent red colour on would associate with Bun Bo Hue, but is still brimming with sweet meatiness. Speaking of meat, the bowl is chockful of fatty, gelatinous chunks and pieces of Vietnamese sausage. Chuck in a fistful of herbs and vegetables and you’re good to go.

Taste: 3.5/5

1 Like

The banh mis here are cheaper but also smaller than Huynh Hoa, but I have to say I prefer the variety and taste of these more. The standouts are the crispy pork belly and meatball versions. Steamed, not grilled, the meatballs are fall-apart soft and juicy, and paired smashingly with pickles, cut chilli and a liberal amount of coriander within a fluffy baguette that was just the right size for snacking with one hand.

Taste: 3.5/5

3 Likes

This banh mi pushcart at the mouth of an alley is a little hard to find, but I think that adds to the anticipation. The sight of mini medallions of pork searing away on a charcoal fire grill and the wafting smell of cooking meat is enough to whet the appetite. Covered in a sweet glaze, the patties are soft and smoky, but the overall bite was rather dry and might have benefitted from more of that glaze or perhaps a little mayo.

Taste: 3/5

3 Likes

Evidently the most popular banh mi(even amongst locals) judging by the queue here that’s lacking at other well-known banh mi joints we visited. What you get is a straight up classic filled with layers of cold cuts, pate and lots of tangy pickled vegetables and cilantro in a crunchy, fluffy baguette, with the faintly pungent whiff of fish sauce. They also include some cut chilli in it, so if you don’t want a spicy surprise, request that they leave that out. I’ve seen some reviews criticising the fatty, cheap cuts of processed meat, but I enjoy that sort of thing in a banh mi anyway.

Taste: 3.5/5

2 Likes

Crispy eel with dry glass noodles. A mountain of deep fried crunchy eel spills into a pot of fried dough fritters as a serving of the dish is perched precariously atop the pots of dough fritter and broth. The dry version is served with crushed peanuts, herbs and dough fritters with broth on the side.

2 Likes

Vietnamese braised fish in caramel sauce. Tender, moist fish served to you in a sizzling pan. Each piece of fish was evenly coated in the sweet, slightly salty dark sauce, and had deliciously charred and crispy edges. Sliced onions provided textural accompaniment and the addition of dill was unusual but worked very well as a counterpoint to the richness of the dish. The sauce was so good I was compelled to finish what was left of it with rice.

4 Likes

Paper thin rice rolls that can contain a variety of fillings, from bbq pork, crab, mushroom to ground up water beetles! Delicious served with sweet light soy sauce.

Similar to the chinese version you get at ngoh hiang stalls, except served with fish sauce vinagrette (nuoc cham) and herbs.

3 Likes

Boiled duck liver, heart and intestine served with cilantro and cucumber. An acquired taste, even for those who fancy offal.

2 Likes
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