‘Kindergarten’ stall does brisk business in snails

By Di Vy    November 6, 2018 | 09:21 am GMT+7

A seafood stall in Saigon’s An Duong Vuong Street has served hundreds of foodies every night for 18 years.

The kindergarten food stall witnesses Saigons love for snail for 18 years

Located in an alley on An Duong Vuong Street in District 5, the stall has no name. It was opened in 2000 by Huu. Since the diner is next to a kindergarten, many customers started calling it the “kindergarten snail stall.”

The kindergarten food stall witnesses Saigons love for snail for 18 years - 1

“At first, I just set up one table to serve the food. At that time, there were not as many customers as today,” Huu said. She said the stall mostly serves regular patrons, new customers are occasional.

The kindergarten food stall witnesses Saigons love for snail for 18 years - 2

The stall has a menu, but some foodies prefer to customize their orders. Many types of seafood are placed on a cart on a side of the alley. Customers can specify the amount of food and their favored cooking style and wait at the table.

Right after the order is placed, two cooks take turns to make the dishes. The aroma of seafood pervades the air.

The kindergarten food stall witnesses Saigons love for snail for 18 years - 3

The seafood here is always fresh. Each and every shrimp, squid or snail is big and juicy. However, some customers have complained that the dishes here are a bit pricey, compared to other street stalls.

The kindergarten food stall witnesses Saigons love for snail for 18 years - 4

Blood clams (tegillarca granosa) cooked in tamarind sauce. Diners keep returning for the “secret” seasoning, especially the rich marinating sauce.

The kindergarten food stall witnesses Saigons love for snail for 18 years - 5

Crab pincers fried with chilli salt.

The kindergarten food stall witnesses Saigons love for snail for 18 years - 6

Oysters grilled with cheese. The price of the dish can vary at different times. On average, an oyster costs VND30,000 ($1.28).

The kindergarten food stall witnesses Saigons love for snail for 18 years - 7

Solenidae snails, which are often stir-fried with morning glory greens, are much fresher and larger in size compared to those in other stalls.

Some other mollusk options include Obtuse Horn Shell snail (Cerithidea obtusa) stir-fried with copra, or Babylonia areolata stir-fried with butter and served with a baguette.

The kindergarten food stall witnesses Saigons love for snail for 18 years - 8

Grilled blood clams served with sour, sweet fish sauce.

The kindergarten food stall witnesses Saigons love for snail for 18 years - 9

The grilled blood clams are rich and sweet, since they are fresh. Each serving can satisfy 2 - 3 people, with the price going upwards from VND60,000 ($2.56), depending on the type of snails and the cooking style.

The kindergarten food stall witnesses Saigons love for snail for 18 years - 10

One of the most popular dishes here is steamed clam with lemongrass. The broth is sweet and naturally fragrant.

The kindergarten food stall witnesses Saigons love for snail for 18 years - 11

The stall is located on the sidewalk, where plastic tables and chairs are arranged for customers. The space is kept clean and neat. Services may be slow when the stall is crowded.

If you ride a motorbike, you must park your vehicle in the nearby kindergarten for VND5,000 ($0.21).

 
 
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