Mì Thập Cẩm Combination Egg Noodle Soup – 295 of 365

Mì Thập Cẩm

One thing is for certain living in Vietnam.  Wherever I go my entrance is never less than grand.  Being able to stop people in their tracks and become the recipient of their gawking and staring is an art form indeed.  Yes, it bothers me and makes me sometimes self-conscious, but oh well.  What can you do?

I took a friend to Quan 100 at 100 Nguyen Van Lac in Binh Thanh District so he could sample the very decent hu tieu soups, and right as we walked in the entire staff looked us up and down as if we had dropped down from outer space.  I could see the expression washing over mama’s face as she told her daughter to go over to us.  It was one of those, “You go deal with them.  It’s your turn” looks.  As we settled into our rickety chairs by the door, a woman and her daughter inspected us and decided repositioning to the other side of the restaurant was the proper escape.  We got a good laugh out of this as we ordered our food, in Vietnamese no less.

View From The Table

With no clue at all as to what this one was, I ordered mì thập cẩm right off the black and white wall menu totally in the blind.  Usually I wait until the food arrives to see what bounty awaits, but today I cheated.  I plugged this name into my I-phone and found out I was about to score a bowl of “combination egg noodle.”  The online pictures looked great and I thought to myself, “Jackpot!!!”

When our small bowls of something neither of us had never before tried arrived, all eyes in that tiny steaming hot space bore right into us.  Our audience seemed genuinely surprised that two western dudes could actually manage to feed themselves.  Soon enough balance was restored in the universe with everyone going back to their more immediate business such as eating this delicious food.

The thin egg noodles were not quite as thick as spaghetti yet not as thin as vermicelli, but in any case they tasted like fresh pasta.  Is there anything better carbwise than the soft, rich taste of fresh noodles?  Well, maybe fresh baked bread but homemade pasta noodles are a very close second.  The standard vinegar spiced with hot chili peppers stood at the ready to add some burn to the otherwise sweet broth.  The sweet roast pork and shrimp were nice additions as well, and I wish I could just order a pound of this sliced pig and gorge.

Progress ground to a halt though when my chopsticks unearthed a few slices of liver.  Not wanting these folks to think westerners can’t handle any cuisine thrown our way, I took one for the team.  In my mouth a brown liver slice went, and the taste and texture made me gag.  Liver is chalky and sour and one piece was all I could stomach.

I suppose a bowl of “combination” soup is going to be a mix of it all both good and bad.  Aside from the sliced foolishness otherwise known as liver, this soup is a winner.

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Categories: Vietnamese Food

One Comment on “Mì Thập Cẩm Combination Egg Noodle Soup – 295 of 365”

  1. September 21, 2012 at 3:00 am #

    Next time you can still order the combination but without the liver. Just tell them “mì thập cẩm không gan”. Locals do this all the times.

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