Bookcases filled with old comic books line the walls of this spacious restaurant, far removed from the busy streets of Hoi An’s Ancient Town. From a thick menu of teas, drinks, and vegetarian Vietnamese dishes, we choose two 'fresh' (aka draft) local beers, two green teas and a shared set menu.
Before we get to the food, there’s something to be said about the beer. Straightforward and refreshing, the ‘fresh’ Vietnamese lager runs a guest 3,000 dong at Minh Hien. That’s approximately 14 cents in USD. Seriously, where else, anywhere, can you get a beer for 14 cents. And it’s good! For a minute, we consider bringing water bottles back to fill for our train ride the following day. Sadly, we don't, and in the end we definitely regret it.
Back to the food. The Hoi An special noodles are thick, chewy and really, really, yummy. The spring rolls are perfectly fried and the banh xeo (Vietnamese pancakes made of rice flour, water, and turmeric powder) is served with fresh greens, bean sprouts, and squash, then wrapped ‘like a cigarette’ in rice paper before being dipped in homemade spicy sauce. The steam from banana leaf-wrapped tofu, onions, mushrooms, and spices wafts across the table and we’re reminded of just how good the food is in this country. And did we mention the 14 cent beer?
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