Just when you think you’ve learnt the lot, you err… learn something more. I got an invite to Ngu Vien restaurant for lunch yesterday. We dug deep into the Hue end of the menu, and only the Hue end. One of the dishes that arrived was the banh uot tom chay you see above. It’s quite different and a whole lot better than a similar dish called banh uot nong commonly found on the street. But the interest for me doesn’t lie so much in the light white rice flour floppies sprinkled in ‘prawn dust’. No, it’s in that bowl on the left. The Ngu Vien banh uot tom chay dip is made from water that has been used to cook prawns. It is then mixed with nuoc mam (fish sauce), prawn dust, sugar and lemon. It’s then boiled and left to cool. This dip, I am told, is unique to this dish. And… it’s really bloody good.
That’s reminds me of words I said yesterday that I never thought I would ever utter, "I hope Germany win tonight". Likewise, I never thought I’d say the rice flour end of the Hue food spectrum was ever any good, let alone bloody good, but it clearly is. A case of Banh uot tom chay uber alles or sommit.