As I walked into the restaurant and towards the first floor, I was magnetized over the rustic and woody ambiance. I was glad that we settled in the uncrowded first floor, softly lighted up to contrast the yellow colored walls and wooden interior.
We were cautious in knowing each other yet we broke the silence by calmly interacting with those seated nearby. Meanwhile the staffs were moving around our table with the tall glasses of iced tea, plates of fresh salads and varieties of chili dipping sauces.
The salad by itself was normal in taste. Nevertheless when eaten with the chili sauces, the flavors amplified and derived the needed spicy buzz on our palates. We tucked in and paused for the rest of the other dishes. I particularly enjoyed the crispy batter coated egg omelet, loaded with bean sprouts and mushrooms.
I was also flabbergasted with the unique style of how the omelet was prepared. The simple flavors totally knocked me out, with or without the dipping sauces.
Compared to the Vietnamese spring rolls available in restaurants back home, the ones I had here were different, again simple great flavors. I reckon it must have been the Vietnamese ingredients added to prepare the rolls.
Besides the fried rolls, we also had the steamed rolls. The taste was slightly bland yet when eaten with the dipping sauces, the rolls glided smoothly into my mouth.
The medium size rolls were packed with herbs and seafood. We tried to figure out which seafood it was and the evidence pointed to prawns and fish.
Our table was already packed to the rim with food. Thus the waiters squeezed the plate of steamed oyster herbs in between the available space. My choice is always fresh raw oysters therefore I was calm and cool over the taste of the steamed version. Others had high praises and they loved that the herbs were the key for the infusement of fresh zest and zang.
The final dish was the coriander fish. Besides coriander leaves, the lightly fried fish was covered with scallions and onions. I noticed that the fish was a favorite because many were not shy in helping themselves. I can understand why. I had a small piece and it perfectly fitted into an authentic and typical Vietnamese style.
Except for one or two of the big eaters, the rest of us did not touch the plates of rice. We preferred to finish off the side dishes.
Since I was seated beside those who were vegetarians, they offered their dishes for me to try out. Their portions were way too big for the few of them. I did not mind and had some noodles and stir fried vegetables. The taste of the dishes were subtle without compromising the profound Vietnamese flavors.
To end our dinner, each of us happily stirred the coconut milk drink with the black cubed jellies and pandan coated chestnuts incorporated inside. I must say it was wonderful dessert but to finish the whole portion was impossible after drinking glasses of iced tea.
Stuffed to the maximum, we struggled to walk down the stairs. On the way out, I noticed that people, mostly foreigners were trying to figure out which type of food to be packed from the restaurant.
Certainly we had enough of food for the day. Coincidentally everyone was talking about how great the food was, served one after the other without any hiccups. If you are stopping by in Ho Chi Minh, its worth trying out this restaurant.