Hoi an has some great specialities. In fact it’s one of the best places to eat great food in Vietnam. There are tasty cheap eats down the market, upmarket Vietnamese places in old traders houses, Cafes, even places that serve some pretty edible pizza – but for me, this is the place to try great examples of the local food.
Ms. Loan is one of many almost identical places lined down the Khu am Thuc eating area. The restaurants take turns feeding the customers who wander this far down, and I ended up being fed by the family here – lucky for me.
The most famous dish from Hoi An is Cau Lau noodles – Thick, rough rice and wheat noodles, with lots of green herbs and lettuce is topped with a little broth, some roast pork, and finally some offcuts of the same noodles deep fried till crispy. It’s one of my favourite noodle dishes. Simple, and the pile of herbs and a squeeze off lemon give it a fresh light flavour.
Another noodle dish we tried was Mi Quang – Turmeric coloured noodles with the same herbs, but a rich tomato and crab fat sauce, with braised pork and a quail egg. Another great dish, Richer than the Cau lau, but still light because of the mix of green herbs.
We also tried two other local dishes. White Rose is a steamed rice noodle stuffed with prawn, and topped with lots of crispy shallots – with a sweet vinegar dip. The local wontons are flat triangles stuffed with a little pork mince, then topped with a great sweet and sour salsa of green beans, tomato and peppers – another winner, almost like a local plate of nachos!
So, If you’re in Hoi An, get down to Ms. Loan’s for some local specialties.