crowdedworldhome

globe

aboutrob sullivan

photostreams

++SAIGON++

SAIGON PHO CHALLENGE // vietnam


» Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City (Otherwise Known as Saigon)
» Things to See in Ho Chi Minh City (A-Z): Cholon
» Cao Dai Temple
» Chu Chi Tunnels
» Things to Buy in Ho Chi Minh City: Modern Vietnamese Art
» Things to Eat in Ho Chi Minh City: Restaurant Guide
» Banh Bot Chien
» Banh Goi
» Banh Khot Pancakes
» Banh Mi
» Banh Xeo
» Coffee Shops
» Colonial Cuisine
» Com Nieu Saigon Restaurant
» Da Lat Restaurants
» Hu Tieu Restaurants
» Hue Noodle Soup
» Phở Restaurants
» Thit Cho (Dog Meat) Stalls and Restaurants
» Vietnamese Fruits

» Places to Party in Ho Chi Minh City: Bars and Clubs
» Places to Stay in Ho Chi Minh City: Malaya Hotel
» Getting There: Ho Chi Minh City Airport
» Buying Real Estate in Vietnam?
» Learning Basic Travel Vietnamese




WRITES CHAO-VIETNAM BLOGSPOT: "Possibly no one knows when banh khot (a somewhat small Vietnamese pancake) appeared in Vietnam's cuisine and people are sure if the popular and cheap dish is the specialty of the southern coastal province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau. However, many Vietnamese know that the neighbours of Ho Chi Minh City, especially Vung Tau City, are well-known for having many stalls selling delicious banh khot.

"A banh khot stallholder on Ba Cu Street in Vung Tau City, who has been named Ms. Muoi by guests, said that the general method to make banh khot is the same at every stall, but each one focuses on different details to create specific characters to attract more guests.

"Rice, cold rice after being cooked or rice crust at the bottom of the pot, shrimp, ground dried shrimp, nuoc mam (fish sauce) and vegetables are the main ingredients of the dish.

"Muoi said that first she mills the mix of rice and cold rice after being cooked into flour before pouring the flour into a mould that has nearly 50 small holes in the shape of a half circle. After that, she adds dried shrimp and fresh shrimp to the holes. Diners can eat the dish after the mix's skin becomes yellow. gRolling the banh khot with vegetables and using fish sauce is the feasible way to enjoy the banh khot,h she said, adding that a banh khot dish contains 8-10 pieces. The owner of the Banh Khot Goc Vu Sua stall on Nguyen Truong To Street, which is said to serve the most delicious banh khot dishes in the city, has a different specific detail to attract diners. gIn the flour mix, besides rice, we also use rice crust from the bottom of the pot so that the cake becomes crisper,h the owner said. gMoreover, for the vegetable, we use many cabbages. The combination the slight bitterness of the cabbage, banh khotfs crispness and the fish saucefs saltiness is wonderful for diners.h The stall is now some 21 years old, the same age as the ownerfs daughter, who is being trained to inherit her motherfs stall. Available for breakfast or light meals Because of the popularity of the dish in small pieces, the banh khot can be eaten for breakfast. gEspecially on weekends, when people are off work, the mornings are peak times at our stall with many diners coming here to enjoy banh khot for breakfast,h the Banh Khot Cay Vu Suafs owner said. When travelling to other banh khot stalls from Banh Khot Co Hai on Ky Dong Street to Banh Khot Ms. Muoi on Ba Cu Street or others on Hoang Hoa Tham Street, they are found to be just as busy. In the afternoon when school or work is finished, friends can drop in at a stall to enjoy banh khot pieces as a light meal. The Banh Khot Rach Dua Stall on Ba Muoi Thang Tu Street, about 5 km from the cityfs downtown, can be an interesting option because it only serves banh khot in the afternoon. Although it is a good distance from downtown, many residents and tourists visit there to dine because of its quality. At night, especially on weekends, is also a favourite time to enjoy banh khot. During the trip around the Vung Tau City, tourists can visit a banh khot stall to enjoy the dish while relaxing in the quiet atmosphere and cool wind from the sea. It is said that besides seafood, which is already famous there, tourists can enjoy a banh khot tour when visiting Vung Tau to understand more about the specialty. A banh khot dish includes 8-10 small pieces. Prices start from VND 10,000-15,000 a dish. Some banh khot stalls in Vung Tau: Banh khot Goc Vu Sua: 14 Nguyen Truong To Street, Ward, Vung Tau City, tel: (064) 523 465. Banh khot Ba Hai: 42 Tran Dong Street, Ward 3, Vung Tau City Banh khot Ba Muoi: Ba Cu Street, Ward 4, Vung Tau City. (SGT) Before you go, check out the online guide of Noodlepie, a British geezer who has made it his mission to locate, review and rate almost every pho stall, stand and restaurant in the entire city. I have taken the liberty of lifting a couple of his reviews below -- a random cross sample of what is available in the beef broth scene in Ho Chi Minh City. Might I add Noodlepie doesn't just specialize in pho, but that seems to be one of his passions, which is a cool enough passion to possess!

Bánh khọt Gốc Vú Sữa, 14 Nguyễn Trường Tộ, ☎ 523465. 6:00am - 0:00am. 18,000 VND. An ideal place to enjoy your breakfast with "bánh khọt". The restaurant is always crowded at weekend. Banh khot - Vung Tau specialty foodBà Hai's small restaurant, 42 Trần Đồng Street. 6:30am - 11:00am. 15,000 VND. A small bánh khọt restaurant run by a family. Not all tourists know it due to its location in a busy street but they find tastier fish sauce (nước mắm). Possibly no one knows when banh khot (a somewhat small Vietnamese pancake) appeared in Vietnamfs cuisine and people are sure if the popular and cheap dish is the specialty of the southern coastal province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau. However, many Vietnamese know that the neighbours of Ho Chi Minh City, especially Vung Tau City, are well-known for having many stalls selling delicious banh khot. A banh khot stallholder on Ba Cu Street in Vung Tau City, who has been named Ms. Muoi by guests, said that the general method to make banh khot is the same at every stall, but each one focuses on different details to create specific characters to attract more guests. Rice, cold rice after being cooked or rice crust at the bottom of the pot, shrimp, ground dried shrimp, nuoc mam (fish sauce) and vegetables are the main ingredients of the dish. Muoi said that first she mills the mix of rice and cold rice after being cooked into flour before pouring the flour into a mould that has nearly 50 small holes in the shape of a half circle. After that, she adds dried shrimp and fresh shrimp to the holes. Diners can eat the dish after the mixfs skin becomes yellow. gRolling the banh khot with vegetables and using fish sauce is the feasible way to enjoy the banh khot,h she said, adding that a banh khot dish contains 8-10 pieces. The owner of the Banh Khot Goc Vu Sua stall on Nguyen Truong To Street, which is said to serve the most delicious banh khot dishes in the city, has a different specific detail to attract diners. gIn the flour mix, besides rice, we also use rice crust from the bottom of the pot so that the cake becomes crisper,h the owner said. gMoreover, for the vegetable, we use many cabbages. The combination the slight bitterness of the cabbage, banh khotfs crispness and the fish saucefs saltiness is wonderful for diners.h The stall is now some 21 years old, the same age as the ownerfs daughter, who is being trained to inherit her motherfs stall. Available for breakfast or light meals Because of the popularity of the dish in small pieces, the banh khot can be eaten for breakfast. gEspecially on weekends, when people are off work, the mornings are peak times at our stall with many diners coming here to enjoy banh khot for breakfast,h the Banh Khot Cay Vu Suafs owner said. When travelling to other banh khot stalls from Banh Khot Co Hai on Ky Dong Street to Banh Khot Ms. Muoi on Ba Cu Street or others on Hoang Hoa Tham Street, they are found to be just as busy. In the afternoon when school or work is finished, friends can drop in at a stall to enjoy banh khot pieces as a light meal. The Banh Khot Rach Dua Stall on Ba Muoi Thang Tu Street, about 5 km from the cityfs downtown, can be an interesting option because it only serves banh khot in the afternoon. Although it is a good distance from downtown, many residents and tourists visit there to dine because of its quality. At night, especially on weekends, is also a favourite time to enjoy banh khot. During the trip around the Vung Tau City, tourists can visit a banh khot stall to enjoy the dish while relaxing in the quiet atmosphere and cool wind from the sea. It is said that besides seafood, which is already famous there, tourists can enjoy a banh khot tour when visiting Vung Tau to understand more about the specialty. A banh khot dish includes 8-10 small pieces. Prices start from VND 10,000-15,000 a dish. Some banh khot stalls in Vung Tau: Banh khot Goc Vu Sua: 14 Nguyen Truong To Street, Ward, Vung Tau City, tel: (064) 523 465. Banh khot Ba Hai: 42 Tran Dong Street, Ward 3, Vung Tau City Banh khot Ba Muoi: Ba Cu Street, Ward 4, Vung Tau City. (SGT)

BANH KHOT IN DA LAT
April 28, 2008:
It is a pity indeed I don't have a camera to do this place justice. But then again, more than half the beauty of the world comes not in the visual or sensory perception of the world, but in the IMAGINARY or SENSUAL perception of the world. Not long after the motorbike had raced me at breakneck speed up the winding street to my hotel (TRAM HUONG BEAUTY AND SPA), me drenched and holding on to a bag of strange fruits, I knew I had been this place before. In a dream, a strange dream I had in Tokyo about 6 months ago. When I had awoken from that dream way back then I knew I had been somewhere special, a special place in my imagination. It turns out the imagination and reality indeed intersects in spacetime, and the place was Dalat, and the time was late April 2008. No photo can capture the dream world and do it justice, for the dream world is multidimensional. All we can do is take slices, like the photo of a dream place visited which I took on the grey plains of Saitama in late 2003. Later in the evening, after the rain had cleared, Nga and I took a stroll downtown, and I again found myself again wishing I had a camera. But who needs a camera to live your visuals when you have a brain, and an imagination, already designed for that very purpose? The streets were thronged with Vietnamese (and at least one Japanese couple) wearing colorful sweaters and jackets and various kinds of colorful knitted headgear. At length, the fog dropped down. I had my first truly authentic Vietnamese pigout -- banh khot wrapped in lettuce leaves at a little restaurant on the other side of the black river bank. Also served was a sour soup filled with noodles and vegetables and logs -- they looked like logs but it turned out they were actually lumps of fish bone, all grizzly and covered with sweet river skins... Phở 2000: Pham Ngu Lao, Dist.1.
Pho 2000 restaurant near Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, 2007 I have been fortunate enough in my life to have dined at some of places loved by former US President Bill Clinton, and furthermore to have met people who were friends of his. In 2006 in Iceland I visited the famous Reykjavik hotdog stand where Clinton downed a couple of dogs with the works -- he is obviously a man of good taste!. About 12 years earlier, on a holiday in Spain with my Aussie buddies, we rolled up at this guy's joint in Valencia to smoke marijuana... only to find a picture of Bill Clinton on the wall. "He's my Mum's friend," the Spanish doper said proudly. Next week (early March 2007) I hope to visit another Clinton culinary hotspot -- Pho 2000 in Pham Ngu Lao, the backpacker district of Ho Chi Minh City. But perhaps I shouldn't bother -- and perhaps, neither should you. As Saigon Nezumi has warned us all: "I have lived in Vietnam for two and a half years but I have never eaten at the Pho 2000 where Bill Clinton ate when he visited Vietnam for the first time. This location, in District 1 near the backpacker area, was quite crowded. The food there was so so. Pho 24 is actually a much better restaurant."

Phở 5 Sao: Various locations. The picture alongsides was taken in Cholon, the Chinese heart of Ho Chi Minh City.
Pho 5 Sao restaurant in Cholon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, 2007 Asia Life's Jon Dillingham does a pretty mean guide to the noodle shops of Ho Chi Minh, and regarding this particular chain he says: "Pho 5 Sao (224, Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, D3, Tel: 930 1713) has a similar layout and design to Pho 24 but has expanded the menu to include 150 Italian dishes alongside dozens of other Vietnamese, pan-Asian and western foods. Open 24 hours they are known for their gigantic pho xe lua that includes rare beef, well-done brisket, well-done flank, tendon and tripe, all for VND39,000. Its 3 locations serve regular pho between VND20,000 and VND25,000 a bowl and they even deliver."

Phở Ha: Stall 1004, Ben Thanh Market, Dist.1.
Another recommendation from the godlike Noodlepie, this is one of three or four pho stalls in Ben Thanh Market. Said Noodlepie during one of his visits there: "I ordered the Pho Tai (Raw Beef noodle soup), the beansprouts were pre-thrown in for me, and a 2 leaf herb plate (Basil & Cilantro) was plonked stallside together with a dish of lemon slices and chili slivers. Ha's broth has Hanoian aspirations, but lacks those all important meat thick juices. However, Ha also gives you a nifty little sauce - a ready mixed oyster sauce and chili sauce number - and her soup needs it. Sauce added, your intestines can kick back, relax and enjoy. Without it this is second rate soup - great if you knocked it up yourself at home, but not what you expect from a professional purveyor on Vietnam's finest.
"This retails for 10,000VD. There's a decent market life view from Ha's stall and Banh cuon, Cha gio and Mi Quang are all within arms reach at neighbouring stalls, and can be ordered to your seat as required."

Phở Hoa: 260C Pasteur Street, Dist.1.
According to Saigon legend Noodlepie, this "is possibly the largest and most popular pho restaurant in Saigon. Probably the most popular in Vietnam, at least with southerners. Locals slurp in this two-storey institution alongside busloads of Asian package tourists, backpackers and expats. Downstairs tacky paintings of the family adorn one wall, a bonkers-big photo of a bamboo forest is pasted along the length of another wall. This place is always busy and cleaner and more expensive than yer average pho joint. Beware of the team of beggars, shoeshiners and sellers who stalk the front of this restaurant. Better to get a seat away from the front, out back, or upstairs if you want peaceful dining."
Take it from Noodlepie -- he knows his pho, he is the go.

Ut Nhung: 109/7 Nguyen Thien Thuat Street, Dist.3.
Jon Dillingham from the What's On Guide to Ho Chi Minh City claims this is one of the best phở shacks in the city: "This tiny pho shack doesn't have a menu," he writes. "The little hole-in-the-wall doesn't even have tra da, drinks are supplied by neighboring vendors. All Ut Nhung does is make one kind of pho: pho bo tai nam (pho with rare beef and well-done beef flank). They serve one of the best versions of this dish in town for VND11,000. In a hem off Guitar Street where Districts 1, 3, 5 and 10 meet, Ut Nhung has no sign. Just look for the tiny house with a huge cauldron of broth tended to by a bald lady surrounded by hungry pho eaters.
"The broth here is extra fatty and marrow is served in your soup. The raw meat is healthy and red before thrown into your bowl. The taste of the rare beef is likely to be some of the freshest you'll ever have in a city.
"Pho in Vietnam is a lot like burgers and fries in America or fish and chips in the UK: hundreds of places do it well, but special places like Ut Nhung make it nearly perfect.
"Pho comparable to that sold by Ut Nhung is found at Pho Dau (288/M1 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, D3, Tel: 846 5866), where they dish up leaner meat and lighter soup. Not quite as hearty as the Nguyen Thien Thuat shack, the soup is still a very tasty, sweet and sour broth. The pho is served with parsley garnish, but no other additions are on the table. Itfs just beef noodle soup, straight. And it's good.
"Pho Dau has possibly the best pho location in town amidst some alleys where four hems meet and open up into a charming little square in the center of a city block. But the nice neighborhood has its price at VND24,000 to VND30,000 a bowl. The shop serves a selection of five pho bo choices: Tai (rare flank), nam (well-done flank), chin (well-done brisket), gau (beef fat) and gan (tendon)."
For the complete Jon Dillingham guide to the best phở shacks in Saigon and Ho Chi Minh City, click here.



CROWDED WORLD
Contact us by email:
bunyarra@hotmail.com  
phone: (090) 6039-9341 (JAPAN)