Bun bo
Beef noodle soup – Bún bò

Bún in the central and south region is as famous as Pho in the north of Vietnam. It comprises of rice vermicelli, a special broth and beef or other ingredients. The broth has a fair smell of lemongrass and is cooked for many hours with cow’s bones to make it lightly sweet. Bún in the central region, especially in Hue city, can be very hot and spicy. Bún is accompanied with many different kinds of beef or interior parts of a cow for you to choose:  Tái (rare steak), Nạm (flank), Gân (tendon), Bò viên (meatballs), Giò heo (pork leg)… To make it easy, order a “thập cẩm” which means one bowl with all of them.
To me and many people that I know in Danang, the best shop is “Ba Dieu” (actually most people refer to it as “bun Tran Tong” because it’s located in Tran Tong street). I think that their broth is superb. However, as the shop is so good, they often run out of stock and close early at around 6-7pm (they open at 2pm). Their Bun bo is the kind of dish that can make you feel soooo happy and pleased after eating.
With tendon, meat balls and congealed ox-blood
With rare beef and flank
1st: Ba Dieu – 17 Tran Tong – ~30,000VND per bowl (2-6pm)
2nd: Bun Thuy – 218/4 Dong Da (from 2pm)
Banh beo, nam, loc

First off, most food shops sell these 3 kinds of “banh” together. In the central region, the name “banh” is applied to many kinds of food made from fine powder except for noodles. Before got boiled in a big pot, Banh nam and banh bot loc is wrapped in banana leaves, while banh beo is poured and boiled in small bowls. These 3 are served with 2 different bowls of fish sauce: one is more salty than the other. Be sure to use the more salty one for banh nam and bot loc, and the other for banh beo. Banh beo varies in shape and size from shop to shop.

You might also find these 3 ‘banh’s in the North or South, but they are nowhere to be compared to those in the central, because obviously here is where they originated from.


More photos:

Banh beo

Banh nam

Banh bot loc

Banh beo uot

Banh ram it


How much: 10~13,000 per dish
1. 100 Hoang Van Thu – 7am to 7pm
2. 291 Nguyen Chi Thanh – Morning (bánh bèo chén), afternoon – early evening (bánh nậm, bánh bột lọc, bánh ướt, bánh ram ít)

Bun mam
Dried noodle with anchovy fish sauce – Bún mắm

Bun mam is made out of vermicelli, pork or roasted pork, vegetables, unripe jackfruit, roasted peanuts and, of course, anchovy fish sauce.

To me, Bun mam:

– is the simplest yet most addictive dish of Danang
– has been haunting me during my four years in Japan
– was what I ate every morning every time I went back to Vietnam on university vacations
– is what I am eating while writing this post (home-made)
As the name suggests, the exquisiteness of this dish depends mostly on its anchovy fish sauce. Originally Bun mam is accompanied with boiled pork, and other alternatives include roasted pork (my favourite) or nem chua (fermented pork roll). Of course it can’t go without the special chilli jam which is a trademark of the central region. It is very easy to make a bowl of Bun mam, but not as easy to make a good one.

With roasted pork and cha

With roasted pork and nem chua

Chilli sauce
Where: Quan 110 – 110 Huynh Thuc Khang 
How much: 25,000VND as of Dec 19, 2011
When: Morning