The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Friday, 9 March 2012

Tasty Vietnamese @ Nha Trang Vietnamese Cuisine (Harbour City), Hong Kong

I just love it when an impromptu decision to have a family date at the very last minute works out well. Especially at a very popular restaurant which already had a queue of people waiting to enter even before it opened its doors. We would probably have had to wait in the queue too, if I hadn't rang up the restaurant a mere half an hour earlier to enquire and eventually make a booking. That turned out to be a wise move because we got priority seating ahead of many others who were eagerly waiting to be seated. I guess they weren't aware that they could make reservations even when the restaurant isn't open. The restaurant of interest is a Vietnamese restaurant, Nha Trang, and its immense popularity is driven not only by the delicious food they serve, but also by the fact that the restaurant was given a Bib Gourmand mention in the Michelin Guide. (A Bib Gourmand restaurant means it is an inspector's favourite for good value under HK$300.)

Shot taken shortly after we were seated, before the restaurant got crowded with hungry lunchers:

We were ushered into the inner dining room, and we made ourselves comfortable. The decor was simple and casual, and I appreciated the unpretentious setting and the attention to detail, such as the matching dining wares and the comprehensive English descriptions of the specialty dishes in the menu. Service was pretty good for this standard of dining, and Nha Trang caters well for families (the largest Toys "R" Us store is located in the same section as the restaurant of the gigantic Harbour City mall, so expect to see kids with their parents). The menu had many pages with many delicious sounding dishes, but we decided to order most of our food from one page describing Nha Trang's specialty dishes, as I was very keen to eat some traditional Vietnamese food. We ordered too much food because we didn't expect such large serving sizes (we thought the price indicated small dishes), but we enjoyed everything!

Vietnamese Lotus Tea in a quaint matching teapot set that also matched the plates and bowls. I liked the tea - it tasted like how I imagine lotus flowers to taste:

Hoi Ga (Vietnamese Sticky Rice) - glutinous rice mixed with mung beans, toasted sesame seeds and fried shallot, topped with shredded roast chicken, pork sausage and scallion oil. I love the combination of mung beans in the rice, but I think the dish would be nicer if it was served warmer. Still tasty when lukewarm:

Com Tam (Broken Rice Platter) - shredded pork with ground toasted rice, grilled lemongrass pork chop and steamed frittata. A very homey dish, which we enjoyed:

Another angle of the Com Tam, showing the broken rice grains. First time trying broken rice, and I like the texture:

Banh Hoi Bo Nuong (Vermicelli Cake with Grilled Lemongrass Beef). This is a DIY dish that required using the hands unless you're very adept with the utensils (I enjoy eating with my hands, so I was fine with that). Tender and flavourful beef, and I ate my share with lots of mint, basil and lettuce all rolled up in a sheet of moist woven noodle cake. Yum!

Cha La Lot Hanoi (Barbecued Cha Hanoi) - pepper leaves mixed into pork patties, skewered onto lemongrass stalk, and barbecued. Apparently this is a very ancient recipe and a specialty of Hanoi. Again, I used my hands, and ate my portion with lots of mint and basil stuffed inside a lettuce leaf - I don't even know if this is how we were supposed to eat this dish. Hubby said he thought it was greasy when he ate the pork on its own, but I found it yummy with all the greens (between us two, I'm the one with lower grease tolerance):

Handmade Gelato - Spicy Lemongrass & Tomato flavour. Hubby said it has all the flavours of Viet food, and we both enjoyed it:

Good food and well-priced, this restaurant gets our thumbs-up.

Nha Trang Vietnamese Cuisine
Shop G51,
Ground Floor, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City
17 Canton Road
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Tel. +85 2 2199 7779


  1. I eat at the Central Branch regularly. =) Their grilled items are pretty good especially the shrimp and calmari. In order to avoid the wait, I have to eat after 3pm. The line is super long.

    Their pho is not authentic though and neither is their viet sandwich.

  2. We are both onto something then! It gets super crowded at the TST one too.

    It would be very hard to get good pho outside of Vietnam or Little Saigon.