We had dinner at the Hoi An gem, Morning Glory.
If you want to visit this restaurant – and you do – make reservations as soon as possible! It’s not a place that necessarily has a months long waiting list, but just walking in at prime dinner time will not get you a table that evening. Book ahead!
I was weary of this place because it had gotten a lot of love on Trip Advisor. While we were in Saigon every place that had high reviews on Trip Advisor was horrible, overrated food that catered to a boring western tourist’s palate. Not local in Vietnamese flavor, style, or presentation but more like the “idea” of Vietnamese food. Stay away from restaurants like this. We smartened up by the end of our first week’s stay in Saigon and took recommendations from our local airbnb host. He knew all the good places and shared a local site with us that rated food places. Kinda like TripAdvisor for people who live in Saigon.
Walking into Morning Glory, the energy was great. There were locals, Asian and Western tourists eating there. This made me feel better. In my experience, if locals are eating there you’ve gone to the right place. The entrance is covered in art, bamboo, and plants. Very relaxing and open. The kitchen is in the CENTER of the restaurant! I loved this set up. It was exciting to watch the chefs (mostly women chefs by the way, which I thought was bad ass) cook. Occasionally you’d see a huge flame throttle up from the gas stove top like a little volcano holding the cooking wok in its grasp.
What was on the menu that night, you may ask?
It began with a bottle of chilled white wine. Next up was …
Bo La Lot (Beef and Lemon Grass Wrapped In Betel Leaf) with a side salad of green mango salad.
Bo La Lot is Beef and Lemon Grass Wrapped In Betel Leaf. Its flavors are divine!!! And it gets even better when you dip the wraps in …. *drum roll, please*
Nouc Mam Cham Dipping Sauce
A popular Vietnamese dipping sauce. It’s fish sauce, rice vinegar, sugar and 1/2 cup of water boiled down in a saucepan, placed over medium heat. Once it cools, you can add garlic and chilli, then stir in some lime juice. I want to put this on everything I eat.
Grilled squid stuffed with pork mince.
This dish came out on its own little black grilling pan. It was sizzling and ready to be devoured by Paul. I don’t love squid but this dish was fabulous. The pork minced meat inside was amazing as well.
Cao lầu is a dish made with noodles, pork, and local greens, that is found only in the town of Hội An, Vietnam. As the story goes: The dish’s noodles unique taste and texture is achieved by using water from an undisclosed ancient Cham well, located just outside the town. Cham people are part of an ethnic group of Austronesian origin in Southeast Asia.
This story has become something of myth or legend. And who doesn’t want to take part in a legend? Well I tasted the legend and it was damn good. Every ingredient spot on!!! The noodles were perfect consistency. Not too soft, but not too firm. The broth had 1,000 beautiful flavors with a beef base, and the beef was sooooo tender!!!!
Pasta used to be my favorite food, but I think after traveling in Vietnam, my new favorite food is any Vietnamese noodle soup dish. If it’s made right, it is heaven in a bowl.
And finally Morning Glory to share
Morning glory is also known as “water spinach.” It’s typically prepared in stir fry form with plenty of garlic and some oil. And garlic and oil … well those are just the right ingredients to begin a fabulous dish! The texture of morning glory reminded me of a cross between ramps and asparagus. It was juicy AND crunchy which was much appreciated in the dining experience.
It was a meal for the books! After dinner we walked through the shining streets back to our hotel.