Located on the South Central Coast of Vietnam, Nha Trang is the beach capital of Vietnam. I spent 4 days and 3 nights there this past weekend during a national holiday that coincided with my 23rd birthday. The weather was perfect and we spent the weekend lounging at the beach, snorkling, parasailing, driving around the coast, and checking out a few bars and nightclubs. To read more about what we did in Nha Trang take a look at Mike’s entry entitled “Paradise City” or check out my facebook photos. But given my obsession with food, I’m going to write about one of my favorite eating experiences in Nha Trang. For breakfast one day a couple of us strayed away from the Louisiane Brewhouse, where we ate about half our meals, and headed away from the backpackers district and into the center of town. Aside from seafood, we were informed that any visit to Nha Trang would not be complete without trying a local specialty: Nem Nướng. Before this trip I had never heard of Nem Nướng, so I was really excited to try out a new Vietnamese dish. Nem Nướng is pork grilled on skewers. Before the meat is grilled it is usually marinated in a sauce with red food coloring to give it a nice look once it is grilled. At the restaurant we went to, the Nem Nướng was served with strips of fried rice paper, pickled vegetables and your usual plate of lettuce, mint, scallions, basil, etc. We were then given pieces of raw rice paper and it was our job to actually assemble the spring rolls ourselves.
I was a big fan of the dish and now want to find a place in Saigon where I can get Nem Nướng. The fried rice paper is really crunchy and it is a perfect contrast to the soft meat. It’s also fun to make your own rolls because you can put in all your favorite ingredients. If you are in Nha Trang definitely try it out. There are a bunch of different Nem Nướng restaurants you can choose from there. We went to one located at 17 Le Loi and I would definitely recommend it. For those of you based in Saigon, when I find a place here with good Nem Nướng I’ll let you know where it is!