Heo Nướng Kiểu Nga Russian Grilled Pork – 307 of 365

Heo Nướng Kiểu Nga

For months now long walks through District 3 have taken me past a small restaurant called Quan Chieu Nay at 30B Vo Van Tan Street next to the War Remnants Museum with a cartoon goat of all things on its sign.   Eating goat has me on the fence as it is and this little sketch makes the animal a bit too much in the cute and fuzzy category to eat.

Finally after all this time I met a friend at this more “upscale” street food joint and I only say upscale because it has a cash register and menus.  A large cooler out on the sidewalk holds all sorts of meat cuts and much to my relief goat wasn’t the only meat bursting forth out of that plastic box.  I swear I saw the word “kangaroo” painted on a wall, but how fresh can that be in Vietnam.  We aren’t exactly that quick of a hop from the Outback.

First to arrive were warmed baguettes, packs of butter from New Zealand, and a salad with a decent vinaigrette hinting of sesame oil.  It’s like Outback Steakhouse meets the street in a Saigon sort of way.  Using a knife and fork in Saigon seems so sacrilegious but we looked around and the mass of locals seemed quite unphased aboutand had no qualms about it.   I particularly enjoyed using a knife and fork with the Vietnam Airlines logo embossed into the metal.

Home of Decent BBQ

Rather than taking a leap and downing some goat, I played this one safe and order the heo nướng kiểu Nga or pork grilled Russian style.  What is pork done Russian style anyhow?  Well, I soon found out it’s just a plain shishkabob of cubes, albeit quite tasty.  I highly doubt Boris and Svetlana are settling into a Moscow eatery and dipping their juicy pig chunks into an interesting mixture of sour orange, hot pepper and salt though.  Something also tells me soy sauce laced with birdseye chili peppers probably does not grace a Russian table either.

In any case, this is some of the better grilled pork I have found in District 3.  A featherlight layer of crispy char held in meat that for Vietnamese standards was quite tender.  That there was not more of it was my only complaint.

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Categories: Vietnamese Food

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