Well, this is my first post of food blog, so I would like to share memorizing experience from my recent trip to Phu Quoc island. Although it was business trip, and Phu Quoc was not in its best season (yeah, you got it, gloomy rainy season!), I still found my time to enjoy as much seafood as possible.
- Dinh Cau Night Market
This night market is a favorite place for most of tourists, with full of seafood stalls. I have tried the first stall on the right side from the gate (which I did not remember the name), and my frequent stall, Quan Nho (Nhớ – miss – is the name of the stall, I guess it means if you try here once, you will miss it and come back for next time)
– The first stall on the right side: it was very crowded at the time I came, so I thought it might worth to try new place. Apparently, I realized that the price was very high, higher about 10-15% than my frequent stall. However, seafood in here is various and some rare ones. I decided to try Steamed Slipper Lobster (Tôm Mũ Ni Hấp) and Steamed Dog Conch Seashells with Lemongrass (Ốc Nhảy Hấp Sả)
It is not a true lobster, but looks like a big mantis shrimp with huge head! (antennae, to be precise). The meat is inside the body and antennae, not sweet and firm like mantis shrimp. I did not know if it is naturally like that or because of the quality of this slipper lobster.
Price: 700k VND (~34 USD) per kg or 3 slipper lobsters.
Ốc Nhảy (Dog Conch Seashell) is a signature dish in Phu Quoc. The meat is fatty and sweet, I really enjoy this dish. Will update the price later.
Price: 300k VND/kg (~14.3 USD/kg)
– Quan Nho, in the middle, on the left side, of Dinh Cau night market: I tried another significant dish of Phu Quoc, sardine salad with coconut meat, onions and leaf mustard. You can wrap all ingredients in a rice paper wrappers (bánh tráng), but I personally like to wrap by leaf mustard. All flavors combine inside this small piece: sweet (coconut meat), fresh and a bit salty (sardine), savory (seasoning), a bit spicy (onions), then dip in a sauce. So yummy!
Price: 100k – 200k VND/dish (~4.7 – 9.6 USD/dish)
Fried rice was good, not too dry, not too soft.
Price: 100k/dish (~4.7USD)
Kimchi-like spicy flower crab hot pot, with 3 flower crabs, broth was a bit too sweet for Northern person like me (Southern food of Vietnam is famous for its sweet seasoning flavor). Adding fresh vegetables and rice noodle, then you have a delicious bowl of flower crab soup!
Price: 300k VND/hot pot (~14.3 USD)
- Ham Ninh Fishing Village (in the east of Phu Quoc Island)
Whole late afternoon of 3rd day was for visiting Ham Ninh Fishing Village, my most wanted place (Sorry, not the beach, as a foodie, heaven is a fishing village with fresh catch seafood! ), and I was not disappointed. I’ve even got contact number of a fisher’s sister there, which will be helpful if I or my friends want to ship seafood from Phu Quoc to Saigon or Ho Chi Minh city. Seafood price can be various (10-25% cheaper than town’s markets or other beaches), plus shipping fee. Lots of Vietnamese choose to bring or ship seafood to Saigon, because of the authenticity and freshness.
I did not try seafood in many restaurants around this fishing village, but chose a local resident who sells seafood here. She added small fee for simple steamed cooking. Flower crabs and mantis shrimps were all fresh catch (about 1 hour before I came), so steaming kept all their natural sweetness. Shell of mantis shrimp was so hard that seller asked me to use a scissor to cut two rears of the shell, then you can split it with the meat, as in the below picture. I wish my tummy is bigger!
Price of flower crab: 180k VND/kg (~8.6 USD/kg)
Price of mantis shrimp: 350k VND/kg (~16.6 USD/kg)
An European breeze for my trip. I did not plan to had a late-lunch or early-dinner here, but I was so boring during my wait for two friends who arrived Phu Quoc from Hanoi, on the last day of my trip. I decided to try this restaurant, which was few steps from my friends’ resort, with intention that I may need to invite some biz partners in the future.
Service was really good, waiters were polite, a complimentary watermelon cocktail was served. Their shrimp summer rolls were better than I thought, BBQ seafood platter were fresh and great seasoning, especially the sauce. However, my biggest disappointment was for the dessert. It has been the worst Creme Brulee that I have tried till now. As you can see in the picture, layer of hard caramel was burnt a bit, and the base taste like sweet steamed egg for me, not sweet, smooth and rich custard base as usual, though the menu stated that 100% natural vanilla has been used to make it. I guess I was unlucky with desert this time.
My bill is 15.79 US Dollar (10% tax and 5% service charge are included), you can pay in VND with 21,500 exchange rate.
– Prawn Summer Rolls : 4.48
– Creme Brulee : 3.30
– Seafood Platter : 6.60
– Diet Coke : 1.41
Overall, without dessert, my experience with this restaurant was good. Price will be added later after I check my bill.
Note: Other pictures of my Phu Quoc trip can be found here