Sunday, January 8, 2012

My Food Adventures in Vietnam - Part 2 - Nha Trang

Nha Trang, a truly beautiful city. Walk along the streets of Nha Trang for an hour and you will be amazed by how many different parts of the city you will cross....beautiful beaches, modern city life and high-rises, coconut trees, dirt roads with plenty of street vendors and their delicious home prepared meals, and of course, plenty of motorcyclists.

Nha Trang was our second stop in Vietnam. My boyfriends home town. We had four days to spend in Nha Trang, visiting families and doing some touristsie things, we had one more important thing on our minds, the food. I couldn't wait to tuck into some street vendor food hehe

First night of arrival in Nha Trang, it was a cold and wet night. It was raining heavily in Nha Trang. We were cold, tired and hungry. Our cab ride back to the hotel wasn't much better, the drivers in Vietnam drove like nutcases and used their car horns like no tomorrow. I remember thinking to myself, geez these guys need to chill and stop with all their road rage. I later learn't that the horn was not use for road rage but rather a way of communicating to other drivers, that they were approaching, or wanted to overtake.

Anyways, after checking into our hotel (Spring Hotel in Nha Trang), we headed downstairs for our first meal in Nha Trang, Seafood Congee and Stir fried Seafood Noodles. Seafood is as fresh as you can get here in Nha Trang, straight from the sea to the restarants/street vendors. It was a small restaurant and we had to sit in little chairs and mini tables, but the food was warm, comforting and yummy so it didn't bother me that much.

Over the next few days we ate some of the best Vietnamese food that Nha Trang had to offer. One of them was the Vietnamese Pork and Pate Bread rolls (Bánh mì). I know what you're all thinking...Bread Rolls...whats so great about them? Believe me, it had to be one of best rolls I had in a long time (we had many bread rolls from all different street Vendors, and they just kept getting better :) hehe).

The many vendor stands you can buy awesome food from!

The bread had quite a different texture to what they have in the Vietnamese bakeries here in Australia. The outside of the bread is extremely crispy yet a little bit chewy, and the inside is extremely fluffy, whist filled with the right amount of home made pate, french mayonnaise, a variety of slices pork meats including Grilled Pork Belly and Cha Lua, coriander, spring onions, chilli and pickle carrots and their special home made sauces. Mmmmmmm just drooling now thinking about the rolls.

My boyfriend's family also took us to eat at a fresh seafood restaurant along the beaches of Nha Trang called, Bo Ke. We had many different dishes to share amongst 8 people:

From top left:
A cured fish salad (Goi Ca) which you wrap in rice paper rolls with fresh herbs and a special dipping sauce

Steamed Swimmer Crabs served with fresh herbs and salt/pepper/lemon/chilli dressing. Mmmmmm the crabs are so fresh you can taste the sea water in the crab meat.

Grilled Shellfish of some kind (never ate this one before so don't really was ok, a little chewy)

And last but not least, Grilled Scallop served with spring onion oil (Mo Hanh). Who would have thought that something so simple can be so delicious, I will definitely be trying to make this myself some day : ) it  is absolutely delicious.

Another specialty dish in Nha Trang that blew us away is the Nem Nuong (Special Grilled Minced Pork). We went to a restaurant called Dang Van Quyen, which specialises in Nem Nuong. The freshly grilled pork is served with a piece of crispy rice paper roll, a piece of sour mango, a variety of fresh herbs and greens, all wrapped in rice paper roll and dipping into a secret homemade sauce.

Mmmmmmmm....yummmmmo...definitely one of the best Vietnamese dishes I've had. Great combination of textures and flavours...this dish has it all!

One other special dish in Nha Trang, or more particular to the central coast of Vietnam, is Mi Quang. A special noodle soup dish that I have not eaten before in Australia. The soup was full of wonderful and new flavour, the yellow noodles (either rice or egg, I couldn't quite tell) was just right, fresh herbs and greens and a variety of meats and other things inside.

A truly unique and delicious meal, one I will remember and miss, along with all the other dishes I had above.

And to think, this was only the beginning of my food adventures in Nha Trang. We spent many days and nights scouring the streets of Nha Trang in search of many wondering and delicious foods from the street Vendors, mainly in search of of the sweet homemade desserts which are cooked right on the spot for you, it can't get better then that.

This is a sugar cane drink served in a small plastic bag and a straw....

Of course we wouldn't have a clue of where to go and what to eat if it wasn't for the help of my boyfriends cousin, Tinh, who skipped school many days to take us around to find the most delicious things to eat and drink, and to see Nha Trang through the eyes of a local, which is truly beautiful. Thanks Tinh!

Oh and there was Vietnamese coffee too, how could I forget, I'm not a big coffee drinker but I know that if you are, you are in coffee paradise : )

It came too soon, but it was time to leave Nha Trang. It was sad to leave but it was time for us head south of Vietnam, to a small town called Soc Trang, my home town. Where my food adventures will continue.

Good Bye Nha Trang, you will be missed....
Lots of Love,
Fat Pom Pom


  1. Thank you for sharing this!!! It really takes me back to Vietnam, god I miss it! Especially the sugar cane in a bag!!

  2. Im happy to hear that reading my posts takes you back to Vietnam :)I really miss Vietnam too!!! haha yeh nothing beats the Vietnam heat like sugar cane in a bag!