Friday, October 23, 2009

Quán Ăn Ngon, Saigon

Snails in some coconut stuff

When my colleague told me that he was going to take us to some place to get street food tonight, I got excited. Little did I know that he was taking us to this place, which was a famous restaurant that I had noticed before but had tried to avoid because of how touristy it looked. Only tonight did I realize that this place was setup a bit like the Raumen Museum in Yokohama, where the proprietor invites some of the best street food vendors into a restaurant setting where one can pick an array of food and have it served to them.

Chân Gà Nướng Muối Ớt

Tonight we came down to their new cozy location at 160 Pasteur (3827-7131) and let our colleague order away for us. We got a whole mess of food, including those snails in coconut milk and grilled chicken feet above, the latter of which I liked a lot more than I thought I would, as it was really just crispy chicken skin. One of my other favorites was that rice cake thing below, which my colleague said was made from leftover rice that was then deep fried. The dried shrimp topping was surprisingly oily, but it sure was tasty.

Some Rice Cake Thing

I wasn't huge on everything though. A number of the items like the papaya salad were a bit on the sweet side, and some deep fried prawn cracker things were disappointingly boring. The gỏi cuốn fresh rice paper rolls also had some of that nasty herb that I still can't identify. I won't exactly be running back here quickly (especially with the intense crowds here), but at least I found out what all of the fuss was about.


Yon said...

That nasty herb is Rau Ca or Fish Herb. It is shaped like a big green spade, and as the name implies taste like smelly fish.

Miss said...

Hi Hungryboy,

During our last trip to Vietnam, we ate a a few times at "QUAN AN NGON" (in HCMC and Hanoi) and really enjoyed the food there (we did not order the dishes on the pictures but ate "bun rieu", "bun cha", "com suon bi cha", "banh cuon" and other specialities). We also tried another restaurant called "BUN TA" (in HCMC and Hanoi) which was also good but more expensive. "RAT HUE" (TRULY HUE) restaurant in HCMC was also very enjoyable. My husband loved eating "cha muc" while in Halong, but our best culinary experience was probably in the charming town of Hoi An.

I regret not being able to find good authentic Vietnamese food in S'pore, even though my husband still likes the pho in "Pho Hoa" @ Holland Village or Suntec. We once ate in "Pho House", Suntec but did not like it (the "bun rieu" and "bun ga nuong" were too sweet for us).

We also tried "Pho Hoa" in HK but were disappointed as well (tasted like they added soy sauce in the broth instead of nuoc mam). Have not been to any outlet of that branch in the US though. On our few visits to LA, my relatives usually took us to Little Saigon in Santa Ana.


BTW, we really like your blog!