A few quick additions to our ongoing journey through the Ngu Vien restaurant menu. Above we have a Vietnamese classic, Chao tom (Shrimp paste on sugar cane) served with sliced starfruit, cucumber, lettuce and green banana. There’s a couple of side dishes along for the ride too; rice paper to stuff your hacked up Chao tom inside and Bun (cold vermicelli noodles). You’ll also get a nuoc mam (fish sauce) dip. This is one of the better versions of this Chao tom I’ve found. And only 22,000VD for one. You can also gnaw the sugarcane when you’re done with the meat. Neat. The Chao tom at Quan An Ngon in District 1 comes with "angel" bun. Also neat.
This is billed as Ca Thu Chien (Fried Mackerel). It’s not a mackerel, it’s a firm fleshy fish with a light flour batter fried within range of crispiness, but no further. Scrummy and simple. Dip it in the nuoc mam. Whenever I order food at Ngu Vien I always end up with two or three different varieties of fish sauce on the table. Difficult to keep track of which one should go with which dish… Ca Thu Chien goes for 39,000VD.
Last up is Goi va (Fig fruit salad served with sesame rice cakes) This is very similar to the jackfruit salad we covered during our last visit to this restaurant at 40 Ky Dong Street in District 3. On reflection, I’d say this was even better than the jackfruit. No mean feat. It’s a warm salad with shredded pork mingling with the fig fruit. The fig fruit is softer than the jackfruit version, although it does lack that surreal jackfruit texture we discussed before. The shoddy snap doesn’t do this justice. Highly recommended and’ll set you back 42,000VD. For previous Ngu Vien reviews, go to Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3. View the business card.