A bowl of vermicelli with meat, beef balls, and blood is sold at a cheap price by Ms. Kim Dung, 63 years old, District 10, so that working people can eat enough every morning.
Ms. Vu Thi Kim Dung’s beef noodle shop is in alley 7B Thanh Thai street, about 3 meters wide, just enough for a car to pass through, but is always crowded with customers every morning. The restaurant has no name, no sign, no menu, just a large table and small table close together in the corner of the alley. The restaurant space is about 15 m2 wide, in front are two pots of broth, of which the smaller pot sells vermicelli noodles. Most of the customers are residents of the alley.
The 63-year-old woman said she has been selling at this corner of the alley for 34 years, a few steps from her house. The main dish is beef vermicelli, and vermicelli noodles, according to her, are “sold for fun, people have more choices, and eat less boredom.” Both dishes are cooked by her in the Southern style, from 1,000 VND 30 years ago, until now a bowl of noodles with Mrs. Dung has the highest price of 20,000 VND.
“The most special part is that price, but normally I sell it for 10,000 VND a bowl of vermicelli,” she said, constantly squeezing the vermicelli and preparing the broth into a bowl for waiting customers.
“There are a lot of working people in this area. I sell cheaply. I don’t need too many side dishes, but there’s still enough to fill my customers’ mouths. It’s delicious. I also have many regular customers who support me, so my income is enough to spend, and I don’t need it yet.” It is necessary to increase prices,” Ms. Dung said.
Each meal of 10,000 VND is enough for her to have enough noodles and broth. The vermicelli bowl has beef, pork blood and two small beef balls but does not have the extra meatballs and pork trotters as the full portion. Guests can also eat a bowl for 15,000 VND, which will include grilled pork. Bun rieu has crab paste, bones, patties, beans, and blood priced at 10,000 VND, the restaurant will reduce pork bones and patties. This price has been kept the same since 2015.
Every day, Ms. Dung wakes up at 3 a.m. to buy meat, bones, beef balls, raw vegetables… to prepare and cook broth. Like many other Hue beef noodle shops in Saigon, the broth is about 10 liters, cooked from beef bones simmered for more than an hour, mixed with the sweetness of pineapple and the scent of lemongrass . However, the restaurant is popular, so the side dishes are quite basic with pork sausage, beef balls, and grilled meat instead of tendons, cartilage, and rare ingredients like other restaurants.
AfterClick to see photo
A bowl of beef noodle soup costs 10,000 VND, the next photo is a full bowl of vermicelli noodles priced at 20,000 VND. Photo: Quynh Tran
The pot of vermicelli soup is half the size of beef vermicelli, also cooked from bone broth, crab paste, plus tofu, pork blood, and tomatoes. Large vermicelli noodles , served with grated water spinach, herbs, and bean sprouts. Customers can freely choose their own vegetables. After preparing everything, she started selling at 8:30 a.m. and in just over an hour, the two pots of broth were empty.
Being alone, she sells about 100 bowls a day, mainly beef noodle soup. “Probably nearly half of the customers eat a bowl of 10,000 VND. I only make a small profit, seeing that everyone is full is enough,” the restaurant owner shared.
For more than 15 years now, almost every week, Mr. Huynh Phuc Sang and his son have stopped by Mrs. Dung’s noodle shop for breakfast, after selling lottery tickets for an hour. “On days when we sell a lot, we eat a full bowl. Normally, the noodle portion is only 10,000 VND,” the 55-year-old man said. With an income of about 150,000 VND per day, the cheap breakfast helps his father and son save on a lot of expenses.
At the opposite table, Ms. Thieu Thi Tham has been a regular customer of the restaurant for more than 20 years, since a bowl of vermicelli still cost 5,000 VND. In Binh Chanh district, the restaurant is more than 15 km away, but at least once a week, every time she passes by selling junk, Ms. Tham stops by the restaurant to order a bowl of vermicelli for 15,000 VND. “Other places are twice as expensive, but not necessarily as delicious. The bowl here is still full of meat, rich broth and quite a lot of vermicelli, guaranteed to be full,” the 50-year-old woman said.
The shop is open from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. every day of the week. It’s located in a deep alley so it’s quite difficult to find. The restaurant space is not large, maximum capacity is about 10 people, there is no convenient parking space when crowded and there is no one to look after, diners have to take care of their property themselves.
Photo,Video: Internet (Vinlove.net)