Hanoi style beef noodle soup – Basil Leaf Asian Cuisine

Hanoi style beef noodle soup - Basil Leaf Asian Cuisine
Pho bo. Lightly stir-fried eye round steak, ginger and garlic served with fresh noodle. Small $7.50
Basil Leaf Asian Cuisine, Fremont CA

This soup was pretty good, but I didn’t like that the beef weren’t all sliced in cross section so that some of the slices were a bit difficult to chew. The broth had great flavor though!

Basil, sprouts, and lime - Basil Leaf Asian Cuisine
Basil, sprouts, and lime.


Fresh spring rolls – Basil Leaf Asian Cuisine

Fresh spring rolls - Basil Leaf Asian Cuisine
Goi cuon tom thit. Shrimp, rice vermicelli, cucumber, and lettuce wrapped in rice paper. Served with peanut sauce. $4.25
Basil Leaf Asian Cuisine, Fremont CA

There were standard fresh rolls and tasted pretty good. I liked the size of them and that they were open on both ends. I never like chewing through thick overlapping rice paper at the ends.

Fresh spring rolls – Sisters Cafe

Fresh spring rolls - Sisters Cafe
Shrimp, pork, vermicelli noodles, salad served with sweet chili sauce. 39,000 VND
Sisters Cafe, Ho Chi Minh City VIETNAM

Meh, these were standard for Saigon. I mean they were better than most you can get back in the states, but they didn’t blow me away after having eaten at so many places already. I was surprised that they got their food from somewhere else though. You order at the restaurant, but they must have their kitchen at a nearby building because the server always came from outside to deliver our food. Hmm, odd.

Nha Tho Cha Tam Church
Nha Tho Cha Tam Church, Cholon (Chinatown).

Pork and shrimp stir fried rice vermicelli – Nha Hang Ngon

Pork and shrimp stir fried rice vermicelli - Nha Hang Ngon
Bun gao xao tom thit. With carrots, cabbage, onion, green onion, cilantro. 120,000 VND
Nha Hang Ngon, Ho Chi Minh City VIETNAM

This was pretty good and I liked the slightly al dente texture of the vermicelli noodles. The pork was ok, but the shrimp were really tasty. Overall, it was good but I probably wouldn’t order it again.

Nha Hang Ngon outdoor dining area
Outdoor dining area.

Nga sau Phu Dong Thien Vuong
Nga sau Phu Dong Thien Vuong, super busy roundabout!

Fresh spring rolls – Barbecue Garden

Fresh spring rolls - Barbecue Garden
Goi cuon tom thit heo. With shrimp and pork, vermicelli noodles, assorted greens, cucumber, green onion, served with peanut sauce. 24,000 VND
Barbecue Garden, Ho Chi Minh City VIETNAM

These spring rolls were pretty good and tasted fresh. I was really intrigued by the peanut sauce though. It had so many cool things on top including fried garlics chips. It tasted great, but it was a little on the thick side for my taste.

Tiger draught beer - Barbecue Garden
Tiger draught beer. 330 ml 27,000 VND
Aahh! These beers were SO refreshing and so were the mister fans blowing throughout the dining room.

Barbecue Garden outdoor dining area
Barbecue Garden outdoor dining area.

Cholon Chinese Market
Cho Binh Tay Market, Cholon (Chinatown).

Rice vermicelli with seafood – Nha Hang Ngon

Rice vermicelli with seafood - Nha Hang Ngon
Bun gao xao hai san. With shrimp, calamari, carrot, cabbage, onion, sprouts, cilantro, and scallions. 120,000 VND
Nha Hang Ngon, Ho Chi Minh City VIETNAM

Mmm, another delicious dish from Nha Hang Ngon. This had SO much flavor and a variety of textures – it was perfect! The seafood was prepared properly and the sauce was amazing. I could eat two plates of this!

Place setting - Nha Hang Ngon
Place setting.

Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica
Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica.

Chicken and shrimp spring rolls – Dinosaurs

Chicken and shrimp spring rolls - Dinosaurs
Shredded chicken and boiled shrimp, vermicelli noodles, mint, rice paper, peanut sauce. $4.75
Dinosaurs, San Francisco CA

Why is Vietnamese food SO good?! Perhaps it’s because it’s packed with flavor (and saltiness)! Whatevs, I’ll eat it any day.

Decorative maple tree
Decorative maple tree (Aceraceae) with a sycamore tree (Platanaceae) in the background, 16th Street.

Goi cuon – Zadin

Goi cuon - Zadin
Summer rolls. Steamed shrimp and pork, rice vermicelli, bean sprouts, red leaf lettuce, cilantro and mint wrapped in rice paper served with peanut sauce. $8.50
Zadin, San Francisco CA

Being the little piggy that I am, I enjoyed that these summer rolls came with both shrimp and pork inside! In gnereal, I’d also have to say that I was impressed with all their sauces. Go Zadin!

Marble stairs, US Customhouse
Marble stairs, US Customhouse, Battery Street.

Chile seared shrimp – Jiao

Chile seared shrimp - Jiao
Vermicelli noodles, tomatoes, green onions, mint, cilantro, crushed peanuts, rice wine vinegar. $11
Jiao, Palm Springs CA

Mmm, this was tasty! The shrimp were tender and delicious and all the noodles and herbs kept the dish super light. A great, summery dish – noms!

Lychee iced tea - Jiao

Lychee iced tea. $3

Black sesame shortbread cookies - Jiao
Black sesame shortbread cookies. Complimentary with check

Chilled veggie summer roll – Jiao

Chilled veggie summer roll - Jiao
With sweet and sour pepper sauce. $7
Jiao, Palm Springs CA

I really liked this roll. The addition of ripe mango was great and the pepper sauce kept everything bright and fresh. We were looking for light fare so this was perfect!

Place settings - Jiao
Place settings.

Backyard lemon tree
Lemon tree in the backyard on a typical Palm Springs day.