Reviews

Mi Quang
Mì Quảng tôm thịt trứng – Mi Quang with pork and shrimp

If you want the truly original dish of Danang, this must be it. “Mì” means noodles and “Quảng” here stands for the province Quang Nam. Well, before you get confused, Danang used to be a part of Quang Nam in the past (called “Quang Nam – Da Nang” province) until 1997 when it was separated and became one of the five independent municipalities in Vietnam. 


There are many types of Mi Quang, ranging from the basic ones such as pork&shrimp or chicken, to more special ingredients like snakehead fish, eel or jellyfish. A bowl of Mi Quang contains a rich layer of vegetables at the bottom, followed by noodles and a fair amount of broth. Unlike many other Vietnamese noodle soup bowls which are usually covered completely by their broths, Mi Quang broth is added just enough to barely soak the noodles. Last but not least, Mi Quang cannot go without the toppings of crushed roasted peanuts, rice crackers, herbs, lemons, and chilli. 


There is no correct way to cook Mi Quang – it really depends on your tastes and preferences. To most of Danangians including me, the best Mi Quang is home-made by their mothers or grandmothers, attached with love and memories. Mi Quang brings out the feeling of genuineness and simplicity just like the people in Central Vietnam, one that is hard to come across in the modern dishes.

Learn how to cook Mi Quang here.

Mi Quang with chicken – Mì Quảng gà 

Mi Quang with snakehead fish – Mì Quảng cá lóc

Mi Quang with eel – Mì quảng lươn

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When: preferably lunch. Breakfast and dinner are also ok.

Danang Seafood
Well I bet you don’t need my bragging this time. 
Let the pictures say it all. 
Enjoy!

Crab with sour and sweet tamarind sauce – Cua rang me
“Gai” snail – Oc gai
“Chip chip” stir-fried with garlic – Chip chip xao toi
Steamed clam with lemongrass and other herbs – Ngheu hap
Grilled half-dried squid – Muc mot nang nuong
Hand-cleaning water made from several herbs to kill the smell after eating

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Where: seafood restaurants along the beach or on Son Tra Peninsula. 
My personal favourite place for seafood is Hoa Tư – 17 Huỳnh Thúc Kháng st. I think their food is unbeatable. Its only downfall is lack of beach atmosphere as it is located in the city centre. Just a few hundred meters away there is also another very famous restaurant called Ba Thoi – 96-98 Le Dinh Duong. 
When: afternoon or evening
Price: varies from shop to shop. Averagely, around 300,000VND for 1kg of crabs, 60-70,000VND for 1kg of clams.
Banh xeo



Bánh xèo (literally “sizzling cake”) are Vietnamese savoury pancakes made out of rice flour, water, turmeric powder, stuffed with slivers of fatty pork, shrimp, and bean sprouts and then pan fried. Traditionally, they are served wrapped in mustard leaf, lettuce leaves, and stuffed with mint leaves, basil, fish leaf and/or other herbs, and dipped in a prepared nước mắm called nuoc cham (Vietnamese fish sauce thinned with water and lemon). In the Central region, the pancake is dipped in a special ‘tuong’ sauce which consists of liver, hoisin sauce and garlic. (Wikipedia)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObPRjgiX2wE

This is by far my most favourite dish of Danang. So much that if I must recommend only one dish to introduce Danang food, I would unhesitatingly choose this over many other great dishes. Why? Because it is absolutely delicious and “edible” to anyone. The sauce doesn’t include any special “nuoc mam” (fish sauce) so don’t worry if you can’t stand nuoc mam’s smell. In fact, the sauce is the key element which separates good and not so good Banh xeo, and makes Banh xeo in Danang unique and different from those in other cities. Most shops also sell “nem lui” together with banh xeo, so don’t forget to try them as well.

The best and most famous shop for Banh xeo in Danang is without doubt “Ba Duong” (literally means “Mrs Duong”. If you’ve noticed, lots of food shops in Central Vietnam begin their names with “Ba”. Well, lucky lucky Central misters). This shop is located in a very small street but is always crowded. There are around 4 more banh xeo shops opened up in that incredibly narrow street just to compete with “Ba Duong”, so make sure you get to the right shop. If you ride a motorbike, make sure you park in Ba Duong’s parking lot unless you want to receive unfriendly glances from other shop owners. Well this may sound troublesome, but believe me, the hot sizzling delicious pancakes worth a try 😉

Click here to know how to roll.

Banh xeo
Nem lụi – don’t forget to try this
How to roll banh xeo
Special “tuong” sauce for banh xeo and nem lui

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WHERE
My pick: Ba Duong – K280/23 Hoang Dieu – 30,000 VND per banh xeo dish, 4000 VND per stick of nem lui (as of Dec 8, 2011)
WHEN: mostly dinner. Afternoon is also OK.
The sign of Ba Duong’s parking lot