Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Tuyet Mai's Nice Buns (Continued): A Festive Bowl of Bun Rieu
A random craving for the tomato and crab soup known as bun rieu (or more precisely bún riêu cua) took me to my New Best Friend in the Tenderloin, Tuyet Mai. I'm a relative newbie when it comes to bun rieu (usually distracted by the other bun, bun bo Hue), having previously only had a sensationally crabby-eggy version at a pop-up by The Soup Junkie at Vinyl Wine Bar, and a lesser version at a sidewalk pop-up by the Rice Paper Scissors collective.
When I got my bowl of bun rieu, along with a side order of cha tom (shrimp patties) I had an inkling of a subliminal factor that may have steered me towards this noodle soup -- its festive colors. The red tomato segments and the bright green coriander leaves in a reddish broth gave it a downright Christmas-y mien; The Vietnamese mint leaves I added with abandon added to the greenery, and made visions of candy canes dance in my head, too.
And enjoy it I did.
It was good to see Mom Tuyet in the house, bouncing and beaming as she commanded her kitchen. If they'd hung up mistletoe I'd have kissed her.
Where slurped: Tuyet Mai, 547 Hyde Street, San Francisco