Friday, 18 July 2014

Nghi Xuan Restaurant (Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh)

Bánh bèo tôm chấy (Tiny steamed rice cakes) 68,000 VND (S$4.10)
Nghi Xuan Restaurant located opposite the Saigon Opera House is a boutique restaurant that serves traditional Vietnamese cuisine.
It was not easy spotting this restaurant. You would need to spot its signage located at the left of the above photo at the entrance of the alley. After that you would need to enter the dark alley. The restaurant is located all the way at the end of the alley.
Entrance
The entrance of the restaurant. We proceeded the the second level.
The ambience and environment of the restaurant was excellent! Craved wooden chairs, flowers, wine glasses and lacquerware made the restaurant looked so classy.
Look at how elegant and classy the setting was. Suitable for even a royal family. The waitress were dressed in ao dai, a vietnamese national costume and some of them could speak English. The menu was available in Vietnamese, English and even Japanese languages.
Bánh bèo tôm chấy (Tiny steamed rice cakes) 68,000 VND (S$4.10)
We ordered the Bánh bèo tôm chấy (Tiny steamed rice cakes) 68,000 VND (S$4.10). Shredded shrimp, pork lard and spring onions were added on top of the rice cake. Each person would be served a separated fish sauce. Fish sauce would need to be added on top of the steamed rice cake. After which, mix the fish sauce with the toppings on top of the rice cake. Once they are evenly mixed, divide the steamed rice cake into quarters and then enjoy. The video below shows how this is done.

The Tiny steamed rice cakes were fantastic. The combination of the fish sauce, toppings and rice cake was heavenly. This is a must try if you are at this restaurant.
video
Instagram video showing how the Tiny steamed rice cakes should be mixed.
Bún hến (Rice noodles with mussels) 68,000 VND (S$4.10)
The Bún hến (Rice noodles with mussels) 68,000 VND (S$4.10) which consisted of rice noodle mixed with mussels, mussel soup, roasted peanuts and fresh vegetables.
Bún hến (Rice noodles with mussels) 68,000 VND (S$4.10)
The waitress assisted us to mix up all the ingredients till it looked like the above photo as we had no idea what should be done. It had a good mixture of textures and flavours. Reminds me of Lei Cha.
Thịt bò nhúng dấm (Sliced beef dipped in vinegar hot pot) 148,000 VND (S$8.90)
We also ordered the signature Thịt bò nhúng dấm (Sliced beef dipped in vinegar hot pot) 148,000 VND (S$8.90).
Thịt bò nhúng dấm (Sliced beef dipped in vinegar hot pot) 148,000 VND (S$8.90)
It consisted of raw sliced beef, vinegar hot pot, rice paper, fresh vegetables and herbs, slices of unripe banana and star fruit, rice vermicelli and fish sauce
Thịt bò nhúng dấm (Sliced beef dipped in vinegar hot pot) 148,000 VND (S$8.90)
Again, the waitress demonstrated how it should be done before letting us try it ourselves. First, the vinegar hot pot was brought to a boil. After which, the raw sliced beef was dipped into the vinegar bath and cooked to individual's preference.
Thịt bò nhúng dấm (Sliced beef dipped in vinegar hot pot) 148,000 VND (S$8.90)
Once the sliced beef was cooked, it would be placed onto the rice paper on top of the fresh vegetables and herbs, slices of unripe banana and star fruit, and rice vermicelli. All that is left was to roll it up, dip it into the fish sauce before enjoying it. It was a unique dining experience, but taste wise it was not fantastic (i.e. not a must try).
Cơm hấp lá sen (Lotus steamed rice) 98,000 VND (S$5.90)
As we were still hungry, we asked the waitress for recommendations. We were recommended the Cơm hấp lá sen (Lotus steamed rice) 98,000 VND (S$5.90). The rice was steamed in a lotus leaf together with other ingredients such as carrots, corn, pork, shrimps and lotus nuts. It was the worst dish that night. A waste of the calories.

The food at Nghi Xuan Restaurant was more pricey given its top notch environment and service.  If you are there, I would highly recommend the Tiny steamed rice cakes. The staff were very attentive and prompt. They were always around and it was so easy getting their assistance. We noticed that there were no locals and that they catered to mainly Japanese. Their service was so good that we were shocked when we noticed that a Japanese couple asked the waitress to feed their child (who was playing with his ipad game). The child had to be coaxed by the waitress all the time to open his mouth to eat while the couple were just chatting away. And the child was constantly playing his ipad game even when he was being fed! I thought that crossed the line. Kudos to the waitress. Would you have done that if you were the waitress? 

Nghi Xuân (Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh)
5/9 Nguyễn Siêu
Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
Tel: +84 (08) 8 3823 0699
Opening Hours: Daily 11am to 10pm
Website
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2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I have never eaten it this way before. It was a good experience eating rice cake this way =). Delicious!

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