Thursday, December 23, 2010

Com Nieu, Saigon, Vietnam

Thursday, December 23, 2010

We decided to check out Com Nieu since Anthony Bourdain waxed lyrical about it in season 1 of A Cook's Tour. You can watch the video here. The restaurant has since undergone a drastic renovation, sporting a classy and modern interior, though the lively and homely atmosphere is now lost. Despite looking rather posh, the prices at Com Nieu are very reasonable for a restaurant.

DSC_0189Straw Mushrooms with Prawn and Crabmeat Soup, 35 000 Dong

The soup was tasty, flavourful, starchy and very chinese. It's a small bowl (appetizer size), but they're pretty generous with the ingredients.

Snails Fried with Lemon Grass

The lemon grass flavour was really great here, but the pond snails had a rather crunchy and chewy texture that takes some time to get used to. I still thought this was a pretty interesting dish that went well with rice, but if you're not that into crunchy and chewy snails, I'm pretty sure any other lemon grass dish would taste as great.

Ca Kho To (Caramelized Catfish in Claypot), 55000 Dong

As a Singaporean whose family does a pan fried catfish for dinner almost every week, this really wasn't anything new for me. I'm not a big fan of catfish, but the liberal use of lard and caramelized soy sauce does elevate the dish somewhat.

Thit Kho (Braised Pork and Egg with Coconut Juice)

Before I came to Vietnam, I always thought that Vietnamese cuisine was meant to be healthy and bland. What a terrible misconception! This dish is proof that Vietnamese cuisine can have some pretty strong flavours. This dish is a little heavy on salt, but great with rice. The pork and egg are beautifully braised, though I really couldn't detect any coconut.

Com Nieu

This is Com Nieu's namesake dish - the dish that involves the waiter cracking the pot encasing the rice in front of you and subsequently tossing the rice across the room a few times (to make sure it's completely clay-free) before serving it with a sauce of soy, sesame and scallions. It's meant to be crispy on the outside, while still soft and fluffy on the inside. In our case though, the rice was really tough, entirely unlike what it was supposed to be. It was probably overcooked - we left most of it untouched. In the end, the dishes are decent, but very similar to what I can find back home. I'll probably order stranger dishes next time, if I ever return.

Com Nieu
6C Tu Xuong, District 3
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Other Vietnam Posts
Itinerary: Saigon and Dalat in 5 Days
Street Food in Saigon, Vietnam
Pho Hoa, Saigon, Vietnam
Fanny, Saigon, Vietnam
Quan An Ngon, Saigon, Vietnam
Cha Ca La Vong, Saigon, Vietnam
Dalat Street Food - As Fresh As It Gets, Vietnam
Trong Dong, Dalat, Vietnam
Tau Cao Wanton Noodles, Dalat, Vietnam
Le Rabelais, Dalat Palace Hotel, Vietnam

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