Quan An Ngon
138 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street
District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
A popular restaurant housed in a colonial building with a very extensive offering of Vietnamese dishes from northern, central and southern regions so it’s a one-stop shop to sample all these dishes at one go in an alfresco setting. Relatively inexpensive, even though crowded with tourists. The draw to this place is mainly the street-style vendor stations throughout the restaurant where you can see the food being prepared. I thoroughly enjoyed the Grilled Blood Cockles and Grilled Oysters (with loads and loads of rau ram, my new fave herb that’s kinda like basil but has a bit of cool minty-ness) and wanted to order a second portion but it was sold out – WHUAT! At 730PM!?! *crushed*
I also liked the Baby Clams served with Crispy Rice Cakes (anyone knows the Vietnamese name for this?). Here I got schooled in the difference between Banh Xeo – a crispy pancake filled with beansprouts, and Banh Beo – steamed rice flour cakes with dried shrimp topping. I really liked the Banh Beo, it was pillowy, the dried shrimp topping was exquisite. It was served with a few slices of cha lua (Vietnamese ham) and a drizzle of nuoc mam cham (fish sauce), exceptionally delicious and light so I went ahead to order a second portion but was told again that this was also sold out. Wtfgawddamnitz!
Meanwhile, my mom who’s a fan of shaved ice wanted to order chè (the Vietnamese term that refers to any traditional Vietnamese sweet beverage, dessert soup or pudding) and guess what? Yeah, sold out. Unbelievable. Goes to show just how friggin’ popular this restaurant is. AIYOH.
Because there were so many items on the menu that we wanted to eat, we ended up going back here three times (twice at the location opposite Reunification Palace as the cab driver made a wrong turn). In theory, we could’ve ventured out to sample the same food on the streets since these are street food but we decided it was more convenient and would suit everyone’s differing palates to stick to one place. Other items we also had were Potato Starch Noodle Soup with Fried Eel, Beef Wrapped in Betel Leaves, Whole Carp in Sweet and Sour Stew, Fried Quail and Pork Chop over Rice Vermicelli. *BURPS*