If I like something I tend to overdo it until I tire of it. But isn’t gluttony such a wonderful feeling while it lasts? Since the beef and onion at Kim Anh Quan went down so well, I decided to return once again for breakfast rather than chance an entirely new place. The previous day’s meal did nothing to rebel against my stomach which is always a wonderful victory, so I figured hey, why not try it again?
The owner’s enthusiasm for my loyal patronage showed with an ear to ear grin as he ushered me to a choice table underneath a coveted wall mounted fan. The humidity may have been high enough to saturate the morning air inside this food joint, but it did nothing to dampen my appetite. The breakfast menu’s selection was a who’s who of noodle based soups and I was proud that I could actually translate about half of it. I think back to the days when ordering was a crapshoot at best, but fast forward to now and I can guess with reasonable accuracy what will arrive in the food bowl.
My choosing hủ tiếu hải sản was for no other reason than I was overly proud to know what a hủ tiếu noodle broth is as well as what hải sảnis. Within minutes a basket of herbs along with my piping hot soup arrived and I momentarily paused to bask in that glorious smelling steam wafting slowly upwards to my nose from the ceramic bowl.
Hải sản means seafood and since Phan Thiet is a fishing type of town, I just knew what lay ahead would be amazing. I normally plow through a meal and can take my last bite before a normal person even loads up the first forkful. This sweet liquid with a subtle fish infusion was so good I consciously slowed my eating down to a more glacial pace. Several perfectly cooked shrimp cried out, “eat me first!” so that is exactly what I did.
I next moved on to the generous amount of squid and octopus and each proved to be tender and soft. If overcooked they turn to rubbery chunks but no worries of that here. Experimenting with the various herbs such as mint, basil, and more elicited a distinctly different taste with each bite. I did not even bother adding chili peppers or lime juice as this one was perfect as is.
You will have to just pardon me if another meal from this restaurant finds it way into my food chain. I do not know when or if I will ever return to Phan Thiet so I am going to make the most of a known commodity. I know, I know. I am probably missing out on something just as good, but this place is doing just fine in sending me down a flavor packed road.