Our other favorite place to eat is Nha Hang Ngon (another recommendation of Chie of The Nomad’s Black Book). It’s where tourists can enjoy street food without worrying about a bum tummy. According to what we’ve heard is that they gather up the best street food vendors in HCMC in one roof. Some people say that the sanitized version is not as good as the actual street food versions…but it tasted pretty darn good to me! We at here twice in one weekend. My salivary glands are in overdrive again just thinking about it hehe!
It’s a massive open air restaurant with an al fresco courtyard area and other cozy seating inside the villa type structure. There is no centralized kitchen. Different vendors prepare the food you order the menu in their respective stalls. It was a lovely experience wandering around and checking out all the wares and seeing them prepare the food!
We started with Vietnamese Iced Coffee (of course! ) to wake up. Then fresh coconut juice for me & I think lemonade or lemon soda for TD. Banh Hoi Chao Tom Cuon Banh Trang (Pounded Shrimp Has fried on sugar cane served with vermicelli, rice papers & vegetables). Cut off the pounded shrimp and assemble the wrap then dip in Nuoc Cham and BOOM! Yummm….
One stick each of the grilled (Left to right) chicken, pork and squid. Next time I will just order the pork and try the grilled shrimps!
Now this is the dish that I still dream about! The Cha Gio (Fried Spring Rolls served with Vermicelli, fresh herbs and Nuoc Cham sauce). 1) Use the lettuce as a wrap. 2) Place the herbs, vermicelli and some of the fried pork spring rolls on top. 3) Wrap. 4) Dip in the Nuoc Cham sauce. OH. MY. GOD.
After our meal I wandered around the restaurant and realized ho massive it was.
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Jay T says
This post brought me back to my Vietnam days :)..lived there for over a year (in Hanoi)…and if you’ve been there long enough, you’ll develop a stomach to try the hardcore “street food”, sit and eat with the locals on the side streets, which for me the best! 🙂 I think your favorite “cha gio” is very similar to my favorite Hanoi’s very own “bun-cha” – literally translates to rice noodles and grilled/ fried (pork) + some “nem” or fried spring rolls. Very easy to prepare, I asked my helper to teach me how to cook it 🙂
Hi Jay T! Thank you for dropping me a line. How interesting… Did you ever visit HCMC when you were living in Hanoi? How do they compare in terms of food? Wow you are so lucky! Perhaps you would like to share your maid’s bun-cha recipe? I would love, love, love to try it out! =D
Jay T says
Yup, been to HCMC several times and comparing the food with Hanoi – almost similar it’s just that Hanoi’s food is has more of that rustic/ traditional look and feel…add the nicer weather especially during the winter 🙂 Though I always wanted to try in HCMC but never had the chance to do so the famous “lunch lady” from Bobby Chinn and A.Bourdain’s shows.
Sure will post the bun-cha recipe. Not sure though if you could find the same rice noodles here in Jakarta. Are you still based here in Jkt? Coz if you want, I can lend you Bobby Chinn’s cookbook that I got from his restaurant in Hanoi with Vietnamese recipes – which is also one of my favorite upscale/ fusion restaurant in Hanoi. 🙂 I think he’s opening or opened one in HCMC too…
Btw, have you tried Mastro Meat Market finally? I also discovered one authentic (first branch outside Japan) hole-in-the-wall ramen place in Jkt but a bit far – it’s near their Chinatown *wink*
Waaaa we still haven’t tried Maestro Meat Market! Maybe I’ll ask TD to take me there for my coming birthday =) Gosh hearing about Vietnam makes me wanna get posted there! I loved our visit to HCMC! I didn’t wanna leave =) Yes I am still based in Jakarta! Wow what cookbook is this? It’s really sweet of you to offer, but I am afraid that I might keep it too long coz of a bother hectic month ahead… if you give me the name, I can try looking for it =)
OMG I love ramen… I don’t know if I love it enough to brave the traffic up north haha! Maybe on a weekend! Details please! =D
Jay T says
Title of the book is Wild, Wild East by Bobby Chinn 🙂