Saturday, March 22, 2014
In The Soup -- Hu Tieu Nam Vang Remix At Ha Nam Ninh
Friday morning sent me to the TL to vet the Bun Bo Hue at Ha Nam Ninh, which is only offered on Fridays and has reached legendary status. I was hankering for some good BBH since the lamentable closure of Ngoc Mai and got there early (for me), at 12:15 with high hopes. Alas, it was already sold out, and it didn't take me long to improvise a Plan B.
Ha Nam Ninh's everyday landmark dish is Hu Tieu Nam Vang, especially the "dry" version (broth on the side), which is as elegant in appearance as it is tasty. I've always wondered, though, if the dry version, local foodie fetish that it is, was really the preferred version. Vietnamese food authority Andrea Nguyen, in her Viet World Kitchen blog, says she's seen a dry version of hu tieu but never tried it. Why not order it in soup?
In one significant aspect, the "in soup" version of hu tieu Nam Vang trumps the "dry" version: slurpability. There was no need for decorum, I wasn't in Des Moines. I hunched over the bowl and sucked down the noodles, slurping like a pro. And when there was nothing left but the dregs of broth, I picked up the bowl and drank it down.
And that, my friend, is whay I love noodles. And why I'll return to Ha Nam Ninh.
Where slurped: Ha Nam Ninh, 337 Jones Street, San Francico