After Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, here comes the part III of our series, Hue and its fine cuisine. Vietnam made its reputation as a popular tourism destination worldwide through scenic roads, legendary landscapes and a very rich and diverse culture. These are still the main assets for the country to attract international visitors. But a new trend is emerging in the tourism sphere, we call it experiential travel. People do travel to see things and to feel away from home. But they focus more and more on the experiences to be lived. They do not visit the country anymore, they experience it. And in Vietnam, gastronomy is certainly one of the first things to put on your to-experience list. Follow our A Gastronomic Journey in Vietnam series to get some hints about the top-local-food-experiences per city.
Hue, imperial and Buddhist cuisine heritage
Absolutely on your must-eat list, right at the top of it, there is the traditional types of banh of Hue. Banh beo, banh nam, banh loc tran, banh loc goi, banh ram it, etc. These are rice- and tapioca-based dumplings, often steamed in banana leaves. Each delicacy goes with its own nuoc mam-based sauce. One address to eat the best banh of Hue: Nha Hang Me – 12 Vo Thi Sau. Don’t be fooled by the basic-looking of the place, the cuisine is very refined.
Second very popular dish in Hue, the Nem Lui. Like the bun cha in Hanoi, the nem lui will please most of western buds. Let’s imagine, finely ground beef and pork sausaged aroud a lemongrass stick and charcoal-grilled. Then you take a rice paper, add salads and various veggies, hold on the meat around the lemongrass stick, pull the whole and roll it as a spring roll. Delicious sauces goes along and probably few other street food dishes. Treat yourself and find some time to visit Tai Phu eatery at number 02, Dien Bien Phu street.
Last for today would be the simple but unmissable Com Hen. The name means “clam rice” but rather expect a chaotic bowl of contrasting colors, tastes and textures: rice or rice noodles, tender stir-fried clams, crisp pork, peanuts, bean sprouts, fried shallots and herbs… with a bowl of hot clam broth that you can add as you wish. This dish is easily found walking along Han Mac Tu street, along the Nhu Y River, a branch of the Perfume River. We recommend the number 17 of that street.