Day 39, South East Asia, March 2013
Day 19, Đà Nẵng, Vietnam
Apologies to all my blog’s readers as well as family and friends. It’s definitely been too long since my last blog entry. I have now returned to Đà Nẵng, a coastal city in the central province of Vietnam for nearly a week by now. The combination of heat, humidity and dust has been a little unbearable for a long time resident of Northern California like myself. It has been consistently 100 Fahrenheit daily in Saigon, Vietnam during my stay upon returning from Malaysia & Singapore. Đà Nẵng, on the other hand is usually about 10 degree cooler than Saigon but with the constant move/pollution and the lack of proper meals/nutrition/supplement had sent me straight to sick-ville.
All that aside, in today’s post, I like to formally introduce you to Đà Nẵng’s specialty: Mỳ Quãng (mee Juan). As in previous gastronomy’s posts, I will post the dish’s original name, and my best phonetic interpretation for non Vietnamese speaker. That way, you can properly ask for the dish’s name when checking out the restaurant or simply wanting to impress the local with your Vietnamese.
I don’t recall having written nor introduce my blog readers to Đà Nẵng’s specialty: Mỳ Quãng (mee Juan) even-though this is my umpteen times returning to Đà Nẵng and my 2nd consecutive trip to Đà Nẵng/Vietnam. Perhaps it’s still somewhere in “draft land” from my trip 2 years ago.
In either case, Mỳ Quãng (mee Juan) is a very simple, down to earth dish and can often be describe as “an acquired taste” by people from other regions of Vietnam. This is simply not because it taste odd, weird, or bad but it doesn’t have complex ingredients or cooking technique often found in Southern or Northern dishes.
Mỳ Quãng (mee Juan) usually came with a bed of assorted, aromatic regional herbs and tender salad leaves. Next comes the handmade flat noodle (brown redish/yellow or white variety) and top with your choice of protein (fish, seafood, chicken, pork, eel, etc…, depending on restaurant) and maybe serves with some type of eggs (above picture: stew quail eggs).
Then the bowl is garnish with chopped roast peanuts and a mixture of scallion and cilantro. For a contrasting texture to the soft flat noodle, toasted sesame rice crackers is to be crumble by dinner into the Mỳ Quãng (mee Juan) bowl. It is neither your typical broth based noodle soup nor a stir fried noodle dish since the broth is lightly sprinkle over the noodle bowl; just enough that it season the noodle yet not soupy.
I’ve probably ate at close to 10 different Mỳ Quãng (mee Juan) restaurants and countless stalls in both of my trips. However, my personally taste preference would be at this newly remodel cheap eat restaurant @ 200 Đống Đa street here in Đà Nẵng.
Where: Mỳ Quãng 200 Đống Đa street
Cost: approximately 20,000 -25,000 VND (above), depending on topping choice
Have you ever try Mỳ Quãng (mee Juan) in Đà Nẵng? Which restaurant is your favorite?