Meatball vermicelli at double price in downtown Saigon

By Di Vy    July 26, 2019 | 05:41 am PT
A bowl of vermicelli at Rom Map restaurant costs double the normal price, but is popular for its full filling of flavorful meat.

The restaurant on Vo Van Tan Street, District 3, is one of the famous meatball vermicelli places in the city. Famous Vietnamese comedian Hoai Linh and a friend opened it in 2014.

A special bowl costs VND 83,000. Photo: Di Vy.

A special bowl costs VND83,000 ($3.6). Photo by VnExpress/Di Vy.

For the last five years the shop's recipe has remained unchanged. Bones are stewed for many hours, usually overnight, to make the broth. The chef has to remove the foam from the broth to make the soup clear.

When orders come in, the chef boils fresh vermicelli for a few seconds in hot water, puts the other ingredients on top and pours the broth over them. The meal is piping hot and eye-catching.

Prices vary from VND58,000 ($2.5) to VND83,000 ($3.6) depending on the amount of toppings you order. The special bowl, priced at VND83,000, includes pork rolls, pork chops, rolls, and sprouts.

Huy Hoang, a District 7 resident, said the prices are higher than at other vermicelli shops. "[But] these prices are acceptable because of the location in the city center. Plus, the taste is quite good."

The meat ball is carefully made into a nice shape. Photo: Di Vy.

The meatball is carefully made into a nice shape. Photo by VnExpress/Di Vy.

A highlight of the dish is the flavorful meatball. The balls are made from pork and wood-ear mushrooms. You can order a side of meat balls for VND40,000.

The food always includes a basket of spinach and fresh bean sprouts. You can also ask the chef to boil the vegetables. There is a warning on the wall: "Satay chili peppers are very spicy!" So if you are not a fan of spicy food, you shouldn't add a lot of it.

The restaurant is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day. There is free parking space in front. Besides the vermicelli, the shop also serves a variety of cool drinks such as aloe vera and ginseng.

The kitchen counter is right at the entrance. The space is small but tidy. Photo: Di Vy.

The kitchen counter is right at the entrance. The eatery is small but tidy. Photo by VnExpress/Di Vy.

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