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Hai Duong Chowlunch Report

Steve | Dec 5, 2009 01:50 PM

Seven Chowhounds got together at this Eden Center restaurant to check out the menu. When we got there, this large place was totally filled with customers. About an hour later, everyone had cleared out. Quite the lunch rush!

We ate:
Lotus root salad
Beef underdone with lime
Banh Xeo (crepe)
Soup with pig's heart, shrimp, beef, liver, quail eggs, and clear noodles
Pickled fish soup with rice noodles
Cha Ca Than Long (Crispy catfish under a mountian of dill)
Clay pot minced mussels and rice

Everyone's favorite was the clay pot mussels. The advantage of the clay pot version is leaving it in the pot long enough to crisp up the rice on the bottom. The delayed gratification paid off. Also, they use enough pork fat at this place to get this dish really tasty.

The sizzling catfish was served on skewers and the fresh dill got singed from the heat. Very nice.

Vietnamese crepe is never a very tasty dish, but if you're going to order it, I like the super crispy version we got here.

The soup with 'animal parts' was very light tasting and surprisingly refreshing.

The pickled fish soup was a misnomer and had a weird flavor. None of the ingredients tasted pickled, but the broth was very potent, almost like drinking spicy pickle juice - that maybe had turned for the worse.

Both the salads, lotus root and beef underdone, were so fresh tasting. the beef nice and spicy and the lotus root was very crispy, not limp as it sometimes is.

Overall, high marks for this place, and I'd be happy to return.

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