Cha Ca at Cha Ca La Vong (Saigon)
Fragrant herbs to enhance the grilled fish – yum!
Cha Ca, if you haven’t had the pleasure of trying it, is a delicious Vietnamese fish dish originating from Hanoi. Grilled white fish, turmeric, spring onion and dill are the essential ingredients, with sides of vermicelli noodles, lime wedges and abundant fresh herbs (basil, mint etc.), crunchy peanuts and condiments with a chilli bent designed to be eaten with the fish. Combined, the flavours and textures are a sensation. There are a few places in Saigon specialising in Cha Ca – fortunately, the ones I know of are walking distance from my place (Cha Ca Hanoi and Cha Ca La Vong). The latter is my pick – the fish here is somehow more fragrant and tasty than Cha Ca Hanoi’s. I’m not sure if it’s related to the famous Cha Ca La Vong restaurant in Hanoi or a copycat using the famous name, but it’s fantastic either way!
Cha Ca La Vong, Thach Thi Tanh (just around the corner from Vo Thi Sau, opposite the park), D1, Saigon
Cha Ca Hanoi, Tran Nhat Duat, D1, Saigon