Let’s go get some f… no, it’s not what you are thinking. The iconic Vietnamese dish “Pho” is actually pronounced as the ‘f’ alphabet phonetic. Which is just one of the things that makes food from ’Nam fun! Despite the cuisine’s relative popularity, it hasn’t really found a place of its own as a standalone, but fret not. Here’s a list of recommendations that will come in handy—it’s a pick of the best dishes from ’Nam and where to find them in Mum’.
What: Banana Leaf Smoked Fish
Where: Lemon Leaf
Why: I can’t help but recommend this dish! The typical Vietnamese-style spicy Banana Leaf Smoked Fish with chilli and tomatoes is served with sticky rice and Vietnamese rice paper roll—you can choose your protein and dip it in a sweet-spicy sauce.
What: Vegetarian Pho
Where: Asian Street Kitchen
Why: This pure vegetarian and vegan outlet at Girgaum Chowpatty makes a killer pho and still remains trueblue vegetarian. The traditional clear soup is flavoursome thanks to the mushroom broth and mild whole spices. A serving of noodles in the bowl is topped with mint leaves, sprouts, lemon, basil, and chopped chilli soaked in soy sauce.
What: Loc Loc Beef on Bamboo Skewers
Why: If we’ve learned one thing, it’s that Joss gets practically everything right. The Pan-Asian restaurant serves a number of meaty Vietnamese dishes—from Chargrilled Vietnamese Loc Loc Beef on Bamboo Skewers, Vietnamese Tamarind Soup of Tender Chicken as well as Vietnamese Fried Rice of Shelled Crab, Shrimps and Chicken.
What: Steamed Tiger Prawns
Why: It’s heartbreaking that we didn’t see as many Busabas in the city as required (I did have my first banana leaf smoked fish there!) but we’re glad that BusaGo takes matters up from where Busaba left off. Among the long list of Vietnamese items here, choose the Lemongrass Tiger Prawns, Goi Cuon or Rice Paper wrapped Spring Rolls, Pho or Banh Mi (a baguette stuffed with fillings).
What: Wok-Fried Lemongrass Chicken
Where: By the Mekong – The St. Regis Mumbai
Why: Head to what’s now the St. Regis property in Mumbai for some seriously fine cuisine from ’Nam. On offer are dishes such as the Wok-Fried Lemongrass Chicken with onions and chilli satay sauce, Pho (obviously but its version includes tenderloin in its recipe and several Indian whole spices), Pomelo Salad, and Steamed Fish with ginger, onions and bokchoy.
How to Get There:
Where: Bandra West – Bandra Talao | Andheri West – Lokhandwala | Colaba
Contact: Bandra West – Bandra Talao – 022 30151037 | Andheri West – Lokhandwala – 022 33956161 | Colaba – 022 33126926
Cost: :₹1,200 for 2 people
Asian Street Kitchen
Where: Dev Prakash Building, Chowpatty, Mumbai
Contact: 022 23633624 | 022 23623621
Timings: All Days 12 Noon to 3:45 PM, 6:30 PM to 11:30 PM
Cost: ₹1,200 for two people
Where: Savoy Chambers, Next To Mini Cooper Showroom, Santacruz West, Mumbai
Contact: 022 33126838
Timings: All Days 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM, 7:30 PM to 11:30 PM
Cost: ₹2,500 for two people (VAT extra)
Where: Bandra Kurla Complex | Pali Hill | Fort | Mahim
Cost: ₹800 for two people
By the Mekong – The St. Regis Mumbai
Where: The St. Regis, 462 Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai
Contact: 022 30151565
Timings: All Days 12 Noon to 3 PM, 7:30 PM to 12 Midnight
Cost: ₹4,000 for two people (VAT & service charges extra)