Cha Ca La Vong
Saigon's version of a northern specialty
What we say:
Cha ca is a beloved northern Vietnamese fish and noodle dish, but thankfully, a 24-hour train ride to Hanoi isn't necessary if you want to give it a try.
Hanoi's most famous cha ca restaurant, Cha Ca La Vong, has opened this sister establishment in Saigon. The Saigon version is newer and cleaner, and lacks some of the rustic charm of the Hanoi establishment, but it serves the same fantastic cha ca.
When you sit down for lunch or dinner, there's no question about what you'll have but rather how much of it. Each table features a large pan that's filled with chunks of fish, dill and green onions, all of which fry before your eyes. Although the Hanoi restaurant offers only the standard ca loc (snakehead fish), in Saigon you can choose ca tre, a fattier fish popular in the south. Once the fish has been fried to a golden hue, cha ca is created by placing a choice of fresh greens at the bottom of a bowl, burying them with rice noodles, adding the fish on top of that and finishing off with a topping of peanuts and mam tom, a pungent purple shrimp paste.
Contact details3-5 Ho Xuan Huong, District 3
T: (08) 3930 5674
In depth reviewRead a more in depth review of Cha Ca La Vong on the Travelfish blog.
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