We’ve covered this gaff – Quan An Ngon – before so I won’t go into the histrionics of the restaurant, but I will say it’s well worth poking your nose in here if your time is limited and you want to check out a very wide selection of nosh under one roof… errr… make that a banana tree or brolly actually. In the pic above, you can see the chef with a firey hot pan of oil dishing out the Banh Tom Ho Tay – again, we covered that yonks ago, so no need to prattle on more about it here, but it is indeed a fab fried thing. For today’s lunch I dipped deep into the soup menu and plumped for Mien Luon (Eel soup with translucent noodles).
The eel is chopped into small chunks and fried beforehand before landing atop the translucent mien with a few sprigs of spring onion and finely chopped spring onion for company. On the side plate you’ll find Quai, Rau Ram, some sliced onions, a bowl of nasty chili sauce and a squeeze of lemon. All in all, that’s all you’ll need to make your Mien luon sing with flavour. Personally, I hit the lemon first, chuck in a few ripped up herbs and get stuck in.
The soup itself is clear and very lightly flavoured. A splash of the chili would move things up a gear, but Vietnamese chili sauce is rank. It’s the texture of the eel and noodle combo which I find appealing, much like in a Chao Luon (Eel rice porridge), but it’s not for everyone. In fact some find the whole internal experience downright creepy. Not pieman – yum, yum. Gimme more eel dishes please. 18,000VD a bowl or just over a dollar. It’s cheaper elsewhere, but this is the only southern rendition I’ve ingested so far.