First Meal in Vietnam

We got to Ho Chi Minh City (aka Saigon) around 2am and crashed when we got to the hotel. My parents woke up early and explored the area. They found a pretty promising restaurant and we went to check it out. This place we went to is called Mon Hue, which means food from Hue. Hue is a rural city from where my father was born and I loved the food from there. Going here, I had high expectations of tastiness.

At nearly every Vietnamese restaurant, they give you these little packets with moist towelettes instead of giving you napkins. The catch to it is that they charge you for each one!

This is called banh beo, “water fern cake,” is made of rice cake with flakes of dried shrimp and crispy, fried shallot, and scallions served with fish sauce. This was okay. Normally, here, they don’t come in individual dishes. I think eating from individual dishes makes it seem more gourmet and taste better, but that’s just me!

This is clams, garlic, Vietnamese coriander, onions, and cilantro served with crispy rice crackers. They were too spicy for my liking. 🙁

This was probably the best dish there. This is called “banh ram it,” fried mochi dumpling. This is also my favorite dish when we go to Hue. Essentially, it is fried sticky rice dumpling with pork belly, mung bean, and shrimp covered with dried shrimp flakes and scallions. Delicious. Also served with fish sauce.

This is chao tom, which is grilled shrimp on sugarcane. This wasn’t that great, but it was okay. Also eaten with fish sauce (can you see a common theme with fish sauce?)

Another one of my favorites. This is banh nam, meaning “flat,” made of rice flour, shrimp and also pork belly. It is wrapped in banana leaves that gets steamed. The way I ate it is that you unwrap the leaves so that the banana leaf is on the bottom to make kind of a bowl around the banh nam and pour fish sauce on it then scoop out the contents.

The restaurant was pretty clean and modern and had decent prices. They had a variety of food to choose from as well as desserts. Needless to say, we went here more than once 🙂

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