“She saved me from embarrassment and potentially poisoning myself to death!”
We had dinner at O’Viet by Du Viet last night as part of our weekend staycation, which we just came back from. It’s a restaurant that markets itself as having food influenced by the ancient royal capital of Hue in Vietnam.
As we perused the menu before going in, I remember a lot of the dishes from my trip to Hanoi. The place just shouted out to us while we were walking around the mall beside the hotel and my dear decided to have dinner here.
The ambiance is great and they have a secluded back booth with period decorations which I thought was really nice. The service is great too but the prices are a little on the high side. The bill for the both of us came up to RM 104.39.
I wanted to eat the Sour Fish Soup Noodles (RM 33) and noticed that it had a *sticker* with a revised (!!!) price on it. Curious, I peeled it back to see what the original price was.
It was RM 19.90. I understand that black cod is seasonal though, so since it’s out of season (and thus probably not that fresh – low food miles, eating in-season ingredients and all that) I chose their flagship dish.
My dear ordered Nem Saigon (Fresh Summer Rolls) for appetizers. This is what people normally associate with Vietnamese steamed wrapped rolls and costs RM 9.90. We had made Vietnamese rolls at home before and while mine wasn’t successful, she managed to perfect it. There’s options of chicken, prawn, beef and vegetarian. We went for the prawn.
It’s served with a peanut sauce that I found rather intriguing. It has a bit of heat in it but just right to balance the sweetness. The perfect dipping sauce! The downside is that there was just a tiny shrimp in each roll.
She also ordered the Pho Hai San (Special Seafood Soup Noodles) coz she wanted to eat pho. It came in a huge bowl with fresh prawns, fish fillet, fried shrimp balls, squid and cuttlefish in a mildly spicy soup. It was priced at RM 15.90 and I loved the soup base – it’s seafood-y goodness! :D
I ordered the Du Viet’s signature dish – Beef in Vinegar Hot Pot (RM 49.90).
It’s marketed as a classic Vietnamese winter dish from Hue.
It’s basically a communal soup hot pot with thin slices of beef topped with a raw egg yolk on the side.
You’re supposed to swish the beef in the soup and then make your own roll with the large plate of condiments (rice vermicelli, various traditional vegetables etc) and there’s a salty fish sauce dipping sauce too.
This dish came with four (4) separate plates, each with it’s own translucent wrap. There’s four wraps in total and it’s meant to be a shared dish, which I didn’t know.
However, the beef tasted really nice when dunked into the hot pot – the soup is a medley of ingredients that makes it slightly sweet and it’s a real pleasure to drink from.
However, the fuel source burned out before we could finish eating, and we didn’t even notice it until after a while. This prompted us to chuck the remaining pieces of beef into the hot pot to cook in the ambient heat. It worked. :)
I also noticed that they have a drink I’ve been craving for since I came back from Vietnam – Fresh Egg Soda & Cream (RM 8.90). It’s basically raw egg mixed with ice cream soda (that’s vanilla flavored soda for those of you unfamiliar with the nomenclature) and cream – you can find it in various street vendors in Hanoi and it’s delicious.
I also ordered Vietnamese Drip Coffee (RM 8.50). It came in the same nifty ground coffee drip system I’ve seen in a Vietnamese restaurant in Sibu way back in 2004 and also while I was at an authentic coffee shop in Hanoi.
I had asked for condensed milk and ice on the side and I thought that the bowl on the left is a nicely decorated wooden ice bucket that’s supposed to fit into the drip system. I thought:
“How interesting! They made ice cubes in a similarly sized metal container that *connects with* the Vietnamese drip coffee. I’ll put it under the drip so it’ll cool down my coffee”
…and that was what I was about to do when the waitress re-appeared and *lit* what I thought was ice cubes at first glance in the dark back booth. She just saved me from potential embarrassment and the likelihood of a deadly poisoning. Haha!
The “ice cubes” turned out to be the fuel for the Hue Winter Hot Pot that I had ordered.