There are no two ways about it: Vietnamese food is pho-nomenal (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves). The flavoursome cuisine has gifted us with moreish summer rolls, fragrant salads, comforting bowls of pho and our personal fave: Vietnamese coffee.
If you’re yet to discover the delightful flavours of Vietnamese cuisine, you’re missing out! To show you what it’s all about, we’ve buddied up with the friendly folk at Viet Flames, who serve some of the best authentic dishes in town. Visit their Victoria Park restaurant and you’ll discover all your Viet faves…and more!
To help you navigate your way through Viet Flames’ mouth-watering menu, we’ve rounded up the five Vietnamese dishes you NEED to try. Brace yourself for a whole lot of flavour and YUM!
1. Rice Paper Rolls
Vietnam knows a thing or two about rice. It’s a key ingredient in almost every dish, including the aptly named rice paper rolls. You have two options here: soft and fresh or crispy and deep-fried—both of which are equally tasty!
Nem cuon (aka fresh summer rolls) are served cold and packed with the likes of pork, prawn, bun (vermicelli rice) and fresh herbs. Nem ran is the crunchy, deep-fried version—perfect for when you want to treat yo’self.
Our advice? Order a serve of both and dip ‘em in nuoc cham sauce (it’s the perfect balance of salty, sweet, sour and hot) to give your taste buds the ride of their life!
2. Bun Cha
Bun what? This pork and noodle creation is one of Hanoi’s finest and is a must-try for Viet newbies. Bun cha stars smoky grilled pork over a plate of thin rice noodles and fragrant herbs. It’s then served alongside the all-important nuoc cham dipping sauce. While the dish appears fairly simple, it packs a flavoursome punch.
Get your chopsticks at the ready because bun cha is on the fast-track to becoming your favourite Vietnamese dish—ever. Better yet, Viet Flames’ version of the dish is as authentic as what vendors serve on the streets of Hanoi.
3. Vietnamese Coffee
You haven’t tried coffee until you’ve tried Vietnamese coffee. Haven’t been acquainted with the deliciousness yet? Allow us to explain.
Vietnamese coffee involves pouring hot water over coarsely ground beans loaded into a small, metal drip filter. Ever so slowly, drops of hot strong coffee drip into the cup below. The saying “good things take time” is relevant here as the coffee collects slooowly—it’s all about savouring the coffee and the moment!
However, what makes the coffee so damn tasty is the addition of a secret ingredient: a generous spoonful of thick condensed milk. Served hot or over ice, the sweetened coffee is unlike anything you’ve tried before.
4. Salad, Salad And More Salad
Leave your preconceptions of salad being “boring” behind. Made with fresh, seasonal ingredients, Vietnamese salads are anything BUT boring. Common ingredients include green papaya, sprouts, cucumber, carrot, shallot and more herbs than you can poke a stick at.
At Viet Flames you’ll find not one, not two but FOUR salads to choose from: green papaya with beef, coconut with kaffir lime chicken, mango with prawn, as well as rambutan with duck. Work your way through the menu because they’re all unmissable!
No list of Vietnamese eats would be complete without mentioning the greatest dish of all: pho. Pronounced “fuh”, this noodle soup is the country’s national dish and for good reason—it’s divine!
Served morning, noon and night, pho consists of a light, salty broth flavoured with spices such as star anise, cinnamon, cloves, coriander pods and cardamom. It’s then served with rice noodles, slivers of meat and—you guessed it—a whole lot of herbs!
Comfort food doesn’t get much better than a big, steaming bowl of pho. Get amongst this iconic dish and slurp your way to happiness.
Find all five dishes (and more) at Viet Flames in Victoria Park. For more details, including opening hours, click here.
Editor's note: This article is proudly sponsored by Viet Flames and endorsed by The Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.
Image credit: Kellie Blizard