HCMC Dining Guide

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


My last post was possibly the most depressing I've written on this blog, so it's time for something a bit more upbeat. How does a feast of goat meat sound? The irony of doing a post on tearing into hunks of animal meat right after an impassioned plea on behalf of Vietnam's animals isn't lost on me, but let's be honest...goats aren't tigers.

My friend Thinh, who has become my fixer for amazing meals, took my roommate Anthony and I to Cá Ri An Đo, or India Curry, down an alley here in District 10. The long line of motorbikes leading up to the restaurant was indicative of how popular the place was.
 We grabbed a seat at a typical stainless steel table/plastic chair setup and were immediately approached by a Budweiser girl. Allow me to explain: at many restaurants here girls in tight dresses decorated with the logos of various beer companies try to get patrons to buy the type of beer they are selling. The Bud girl walked right up and plopped a can of the King of Beers (most unfitting name ever) on the table, expecting the three of us to take the bait and order a round. We would rather drink water from the Saigon River than Budweiser though, so much to her disappointment we ordered three bottles of Saigon Red.

Thinh then started ordering the food. A 'big' serving of goat curry, an order of coconut goat curry, rice and bread. The goat came and it was obvious that the restaurant just hacked up entire goats and threw the whole thing into a pot. There was plenty of fat and gristle, but also plenty of meat.
 And there was also a nipple - that's the protuberance on the piece at the bottom of the picture. We all avoided that.

The curry sauce was simply incredible, and though it took a bit of work to get the meat off the bone, the reward was worth it. The goat was rich and deeply flavorful, and we looked like neanderthals as we gave up on utensils and simply started ripping the pieces of meat off the bone. Fortunately table manners aren't really a big thing at simple restaurants in Vietnam. Also the bread dipped in the sauce was divine.

The coconut curry was just as good, if not better, and it had the added bonus of boneless pieces of meat. I've gotten pretty used to bones in my meat (there's a penis joke in there somewhere) since moving here, but it's still nice to eat things that don't run the risk of ripping your esophagus open on the way down.
the coconut goat curry
the bone pile
In Vietnam they say that a dirty floor means the restaurant is good, since business is so brisk the staff doesn't have time to sweep. I'd love to see how an official from the FDA would react to the majority of eateries here. All in all this was another great meal at the hands of Thinh, and all for about $10 each.

Cà Ri An Đo is located on Sư Vạn Hạnh street near the Windsor Plaza Hotel in D10. Go down An Dương Vương and take the right just in front of the Windsor, that is Sư Vạn Hạnh. Look to the right once you pass the hotel, I don't know the alley's number but there is a sign over it advertising the curry. 

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