Jan 1, 2007
When we get into a new town, we like to head for the Central Market to see what's going on. It's also a good chance to find super-tasty local specialities (for a super-tasty bargain price). In Hoi An there were some beauties - Banh Xeo, Mi Quang and Cau Lao. Yum.
Laying under a tarp and a small sign in the center of the market was a real find! I initially started looking for Banh Xeo and passed up a stall owner who wanted 3000 Dong per Banh Xeo and wasn't very friendly to bargaining. I walked two stalls down and started the discussion about this stall's Banh Xeo, starting at 3000 Dong I ended up at 2000 Dong for one. This turned out to be a good choice for both the stall owner and myself. Evan and I (Doreen was in a Tailor shop with Keegan) ordered up 3 Banh Xeo and a bowl of Cau Lau. As the story goes, Cau Lau can only be made authentically in Hoi An as the water used as part of the process has to come from a specific well in the town. I liked the noodle density and texture of Cau Lau, it is dense and a bit rough and squared off. I could eat a full bowl of just the noodles and so could Evan. There was lots of greenery thrown in and it was a very satisfying meal. Leaving a small tip we wandered off to go and find Doreen and Keegan, then it was back to the same stall so Doreen could dive in. More Banh Xeo, a bowl of Cau Lau for Doreen and a bowl of Mi Quang for me. The Mi Quang is soooooo yummy. It has a shrimp and tomato base with peanuts and such, the noodles are flat and white are perfect for this dish.
By sitting there we ate quite a bit and we managed to convince other traveller's to sit down at the stall and eat, simply because we were there. I'm sure this more than made up for the discounted Banh Xeo. Both parties win. Hoi An market food rocks!