Noodles, Noodles, Noodles

Wandering aimlessly all over a brand new city tends to end in one of two ways. One, you get hopelessly lost in a neighborhood that looks a little seedy and wish you’d thought to bring a map. Or, two, you discover a vibrant neighborhood teeming with charming cafes and noodle shops. Fortunately for us, we ended up with scenario two!

We spotted a small open store front, filled with low tables and plastic stools, absolutely packed with locals eating noodles. The sign indicated that the restaurant served only one thing: bun cha. We ordered two bowls (for 18,000 dong each – that’s just over a dollar), and this is what appeared before us:
img_6188

A pile of cooked noodles, and a large bowl of shiso leaves and butter lettuce. AND…img_6191

A bowl of faintly sweet broth filled with little charcoal-grilled ground meat patties.
Basically the theory is you dip the lettuce and noodles into the broth with chopsticks, eating them with little bites of meat.

A little while later, we found ourselves in a different neighborhood, with different noodles.

img_6207

I thought we were getting traditional pho, but this slightly red broth was more sour/salty, and had noodles, green onions, and a big pile of cooked meat on top. Like the bun cha, it was served with a pile of fresh greens.

img_6233

Another noodle soup we recently sampled came with a big slab of liver on top; large, thin slices of heart of palm, and some chunks of meat with the skin still on. It looked a little like chicken meat, but tasted gamier, and I have no idea what it was.
I know what the liver’s function in the body is, and I know this makes it a less than ideal choice for consumption, but when I saw the little boy sitting next to us dipping the liver into a small bowl of chilis, garlic, and fish sauce, I wanted to give it a try. It was fantastic! I love the smooth texture of liver a lot more than the flavor, and the sauce made it nice and salty-hot.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

1 comment to Noodles, Noodles, Noodles

  • Bob

    Cate

    We had to have Pho in each of the 3 cities we visited. The best was in a chain called Pho 24. Please keep me up on your travels and if you go south, let me know, I have a very special place for you to visit. I also have friends in Saigon (Ho Chi Mihn City) who would be great tour guides and “bargaineers” for shopping. Check the silks, the Dalat Wine and in each city you visit, try the local beer, they were all great……

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

my foodgawker gallery