Cha Ca – my latest food obsession

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

6 Responses

  1. jen laceda June 18, 2009 / 2:20 pm

    I can almost taste it…We have plenty of Vietnamese restaurants here in Toronto, but I haven’t really ventured far off from the usual pho, spring rolls, pork chops, vermicelli, and Vietnamese omelette. I should pay more attention to the menu to see if they have this Cha Ca

  2. Yoli June 18, 2009 / 3:30 pm


  3. Cate June 22, 2009 / 6:26 pm

    my mouth is salivating from reading this delicious description. I love fresh herbs in food, in fact I just love anything fresh.

  4. henno June 24, 2009 / 3:49 am

    Yummmm. In Hanoi they do Bun Cha (my favourite) and Cha Ca together so you can actually get the best of both worlds. Will definitely check out Cha Ca La Vong!

  5. Jon Hoff June 25, 2009 / 8:43 am

    Cha Ca is awesome – there’s that famous Cha Ca restaurant in Hanoi but the name escapes me (in the old quarter, in every guide book). One of the best meals I’ve ever had…

  6. Anonymous July 9, 2009 / 5:15 pm

    Same owner as the one in Hanoi (probably ran by a relative)

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