Rich pickings at a cheap joint

Officially, it is Bánh canh cua giò heo Hoàng Lan (Hoàng Lan’s tapioca noodle soup with crab and pig’s trotters).

But, it is better known as bánh canh cua Vĩnh Viễn (Vĩnh Viễn’s crab tapioca noodle soup) after the street in District 10 where the restaurant is located.

More detailed directions are not needed.

Since it opened more than 20 years ago, the restaurant has become the neighborhood’s most famous seller of bánh canh cua.

Ask any local, and you will get there without a hitch.

The restaurant’s key to success is that it uses raw materials that are fresh and tasty.

The bowl of bánh canh cua that it serves looks very rich, with a red, slightly thick broth (the color comes from achiote seeds), and a variety of toppings:

Meat of crab claws, prawns, cha ca (deep-fried fish paste), and pig’s trotter cuts.

Then, there are pieces of quay served on the side.

Quẩy or giò cháo quẩy are deep-fried strips of Chinese cruller called yu char kway or youtiao in Chinese.

The restaurant’s owner says the crab meat is brought fresh from central coastal towns of Nha Trang and Phan Thiết every day.

The noodle is made with tapioca and rice starch so it is clear and chewy.

A bowl of bánh canh cua (crab tapioca noodle soup) served with quẩy and dipping sauce at Hoàng Lan Restaurant in District 10, Hồ Chí Minh City

The owner also says that originally,bánh canh cua only had pig’s trotter cuts and crab meat, but recently other toppings have been added to suit the taste of the city residents seeking more protein-rich ingredients.

The broth is also slightly sweet.

But, if you want a lighter bowl, feel free to make an order with toppings that you like.

For pig’s trotters, there is an option of lean cuts for those who do not like parts with too much fat and tendon.

Unlike many other noodle soup dishes, bánh canh cua is served without fresh herbs, but with a dipping sauce made with fish sauce, lime juice and sugar.

The sauce is eaten with the toppings, and quay is usually added directly into the bowl.

Although the Vĩnh Viễn restaurant serves a really delicious bowl of bánh canh cua, there are many complaints about its space, which is too small to comfortably accommodate the large number of customers it receives everyday.

If you are not into cramped and hot places, or sharing a table with strangers, your best choice is to order a takeaway, and slurp away in the comfort of your home.

Bánh canh cua giò heo Hoàng Lan 

Address:

484 Vĩnh Viễn Street, Ward 8, District 10, Hồ Chí Minh City

Open hours:

11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Price:

VND40,000/bowl

VŨ GIANG 

Source: Thanh Niên News

 

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