The fish noodle shop under the sycamore tree has attracted customers for more than 20 years

HANOI – SAM Cay Si Ginseng Fish Noodles has been open for sale for more than 20 years under a sycamore tree, next to a temple, every day hundreds of customers come to eat and order food.

Located in Trung Yen alley, Hoan Kiem district, Sam Cay Si fish noodle shop has been selling for more than 20 years, next to a small temple worshiping the goddess Ba Dong Cuong.

Explaining the name Sam Cay Si, Ms. Doan Thi Sau, 46 years old, the owner of the shop, said that her mother-in-law’s name was Sam. She opened the shop near the ginseng tree, next to the temple, so she named it Sam Cay Si so that people can easily find it.

The shop is open from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. every day, with many places for customers to sit and enjoy. The indoor space is about 30 square meters, enough room for about 10 – 15 guests to sit at the same time. The outside space includes the front door of the shop (photo) and around the processing counter, with many plastic tables and chairs.

The processing counter is outside, placing a pot of broth in the middle, surrounded by some toppings such as crispy fried fish and fish cakes. Vegetables such as celery, bean sprouts, green onions, and dill are placed around so that a person standing at the counter can serve them quickly, without needing to reach out.

The restaurant’s menu includes fish vermicelli, vermicelli, mixed or mixed fish cakes, of which fish vermicelli is the best-selling dish, the owner said.

The restaurant takes tilapia and fruit fish meat that has had its backbone removed, cut it into pieces, marinated it with spices and fried it crispy. Another part of raw fish meat is pureed with fish eggs to make patties. The fish cake is flattened, about the size of the palm of your hand.

When diners order, the staff blanch noodles, vermicelli or rice paper, celery, and bean sprouts in a pot of boiling water for about 1-2 minutes, wait until cooked, then put them in a bowl and add crispy fried fish toppings. , fish cakes, celery, and bean sprouts on top before pouring the broth. The vermicelli bowl has an equal amount of fried fish and fish cakes, about 4 – 5 pieces.

The broth is made from pork bones and fish bones, seasoned with spices, and simmered for about half a day. The owner adds pineapple and tomatoes to create a sweet and sour taste, a light aroma and eliminate the fishy smell of the fish.

The broth is clear, has the sweet taste of bones, and the mild sourness of tomatoes and pineapple. The fish pieces are dark brown and fried crispy so they are not soft or mushy. Grilled fish left in whole pieces, when absorbed, becomes chewy and soft. Cooked celery and crispy fresh raw vegetables add flavor to the bowl of vermicelli.

If you want to adjust to your taste, you can add spicy and sour bamboo shoots or steamed chili on the table. A bowl of fish noodle soup here costs 50,000 VND.

The most crowded time is around 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 a.m., lunch break for office workers. The restaurant always has about 40-50 diners. Before that, from about 10 a.m., many shippers continuously came in and out to receive and deliver online orders. The shop owner said that on average, the shop sells about 30 – 40 kg of vermicelli a day.

Ms. Hoang Thanh Binh, 33 years old, Hoan Kiem district (left), said this is one of the few fish noodle shops that meet her standards such as not fishy, ​​clear broth, and less oil. She often stops by the restaurant to enjoy fish noodle soup for lunch.

Located in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, the restaurant also welcomes a small number of foreign guests on weekdays and a larger number on weekends. Some customers were led to the restaurant by tour guides, some learned about it through pictures and videos on social networks, others happened to pass by and stopped to enjoy, Ms. Sau said.

The first time he came to Vietnam on his own, on March 6, Michael (pictured) and his girlfriend happened to pass by Sam Cay Si fish noodle shop and ordered a bowl to try. He was impressed with the “quite special broth, light taste, rich fried fish”. Meanwhile, Michael’s girlfriend doesn’t like fish dishes so she only enjoys a little.

Fish noodle soup tastes better when hot, so it sells better in winter than in summer. Besides, the outdoor space of the restaurant has no fan or solid roof, so the number of customers coming to the restaurant in the summer is also less.

The shop does not have a separate parking area. Customers coming to the restaurant park their cars close to the wall, along the alley entrance according to the staff’s instructions.

($1~24,000 VND)
Photo: Internet (