Lunch has been an ordeal lately when I’m at work. Ho Chi Minh City doesn’t lack restaurants but I find myself going to the same places over and over again. I would love to sit by the road side and eat with the locals but I’m wary right now with street food.
So today, after mailing some postcards at the Post Office, I was mentally debating whether to head on to Nguyen Hue St. or just walk across to NYDC. It’s towards the end of the month already and the well of salary is about to dry up! 😀 Unlike in the Philippines where you get your salary every 15th and 30th of the month, the practice here is to get paid once a month. Talk about building up your EQ.
Anyhoo, I decided to walk across to Banh Cuon La instead. I’ve been meaning to drop by the place anyway and my boss did say the banh cuon there is good. Banh Cuon or rolled cake actually came from North Vietnam and according to Wikipedia:
It is a roll made from a thin, wide sheet of steamed rice batter filled with seasoned ground pork, minced wood ear mushroom, and minced shallots. Sides for this dish usually consist of chả lụa (Vietnamese pork sausage) and bean sprouts, with the dipping sauce called nước chấm. Sometimes, a drop of cà cuống, which is the essence of a giant water bug, Lethocerus indicus, is added to the nước chấm for extra flavor, although this ingredient is scarce and quite expensive.
I ordered Congee with shredded shrimp. The shrimp came separately in a small dish which I forgot to sprinkle when I took this shot.
And I just had to try the Banh Cuon with Chinese Sausage. I actually forgot to take a shot before starting to eat this one. Yummy!
I wasn’t actually sure how to eat this. But I did roll it and dunk it in soy sauce. Tad difficult to use the chopsticks with the wrapper being so thin and slippery.
This restaurant doesn’t serve Pho by the way — which I think is terrific. I mean Pho is good but really, there are other foods that represents Vietnamese cuisine. And after living for 2 years here already, I think I’ve had my fill of Pho for now.
Banh Cuon La
57 Nguyen Du St.,
District 1, HCMC