Noodle shops attract customers in Nha Trang because of their homemade fish cakes

KHANH HOA – For 42 years, from selling fish cakes to serving fish noodles, Nguyen Loan restaurant has always been a crowded restaurant.

Nguyen Loan fish noodle soup is located at 123 Ngo Gia Tu, Nha Trang city. The 42-year-old restaurant specializes in serving fish noodles and attracts many longtime locals as well as tourists. The space of the restaurant is about 25 m2 including the dining area and the dining area for guests. The restaurant has 6 stainless steel dining tables and low chairs, serving about 30-40 guests at the same time.

The stall is located in front of the entrance. One side is a pot of broth that is always boiling, and the other side is a glass cabinet displaying ingredients and food trays. When there are guests, the chef will in turn put vermicelli, fish cakes, fresh fish and vegetables in the bowl, filling the food with broth.

Ms. Nhat Vy (pictured), the daughter of Mrs. Loan, the owner, said that at first, the shop only served banh chung, then added fried beef vermicelli, shumai bread, fish vermicelli. Previously, the restaurant only sold fresh fish. Until 1980, the shop started making wholesale fish cakes in Tan Lap ward, Nha Trang city and then opened a shop.

Most fish are brought in by familiar suppliers from 4am, when they have just been caught in the sea. Fish include mackerel, sailfish, jellyfish. The family always puts freshness first when importing fish to make quality dishes.

After being brought back, the sailfish is steamed, and the mackerel is processed into fish cakes. The big cake is steamed and fried and then cut into slices about 3-4 cm long. In addition, there are fish cakes that are molded into round balls. Crispy fish cake, sweet taste of sea fish. Jellyfish boiled, sweet, crunchy, chewy. The side dishes are dropped into the broth pot in turn to stay hot before being put into the bowl.

In addition to the side dishes, the broth is also the ingredient that determines the deliciousness of the vermicelli bowl. The broth is simmered with fish bones and tomatoes, so it has a natural, sweet taste.

Each noodle dish is accompanied by a plate of raw vegetables. Balanced green vegetables with fish protein make the dish cool and not boring. When eating, depending on taste, diners can add chili sauce, pickled onions. Each bowl of vermicelli at the restaurant costs 45,000 VND.

The menu of the restaurant is diverse, in addition to vermicelli and banh chung, there are also shumai bread. The side dishes of vermicelli and banh soup include fish, fish cakes, and jellyfish. Guests coming here can order fish noodles including fish cakes and fresh fish; or a full bowl with additional jellyfish. The bowl of vermicelli was served hot, full, and smoky, giving off the aroma of fish cakes. Vermicelli and white noodle soup, flexible but tough enough not to be crushed.

The shop sells all day from 6am to 10pm, crowded all morning, noon, and night. “The food here is very delicious, fresh, toppings are plentiful, many choices and reasonable prices. The broth tastes like Nha Trang”, Mr. Nguyen Khac Hieu (Nha Trang), customer more than 10 years of the shop, said.

However, because the restaurant is always crowded, it is a bit cramped and hot. In addition, parking is limited, so guests have to park around the road.

($1=24,000 VND)

Post and photo: Xuan Phuong