NHA TRANG NOODLES
With a coastline of over 3,000km, Vietnam has sea that is a vital part of daily life. Nowhere is it more evident than the city of Nha Trang on the south central coast of Vietnam. Blessed with a beautiful bay, Nha Trang enjoys some of the most pristine beaches and an abundant bounty of sea life from which tourism and fishing play relevant roles.
This is most obvious in the culinary offerings where fish is prominent. While the entire country features vermicelli noodles and their respective protein of either pork or beef, in Nha Trang, fish takes centre stage with dishes like Bun Ca and Banh Canh Cha Ca. Bun is rice vermicelli (bun) and fish (ca), while banh canh is a thicker rice noodle similar to Japanese udon as a complementary noodle to the dish of Banh Canh Cha Ca (Vietnamese udon with grilled fish).
These dishes may not be served in too many dining establishments in the rest of the country, so it is here in Nha Trang that it should be enjoyed. Chopsticks may be the more popular choice but in Nha Trang, to eat banh canh cha ca, people use a spoon instead for more delicious slurping. This can be enjoyed at eateries dotting the city or a food stall at the market.
For a bowl of Bun Ca, visit Xom Moi market at Vo Tru Street corner where it’s guaranteed goodness since this food stall has been in business for over two decades. It will be a tasty bowl priced at around 20,000 VND per bowl, that’s less than 1 USD! Open daily from 1pm-7pm.
Nocturnal snackers wishing for thicker noodles can go to Banh Canh Ba Thu at 55 Yersin Street or Dam market at night at Hai Ba Trung Street, from 5pm-3am. Again, that bowl will set you back around 1 USD.