JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

‘Hu tieu’ stall in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta best in SE Asia: tour organizer

‘Hu tieu’ stall in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta best in SE Asia: tour organizer

Tuesday, April 12, 2016, 16:00 GMT+7

A tour organizer believes a food stand in the Mekong Delta city of Sa Dec serves up the best ‘hu tieu’ in all of Southeast Asia.

‘Hu tieu’ is the Vietnamese name for a noodle soup made with rice noodles, pork stock, and other toppings, popular in southern Vietnam, China, Cambodia, Singapore, and Thailand, though the recipe may differ by country.

Nguyen Van My, a tour operator who has traveled to ten Southeast Asian countries, praised a ‘hu tieu’ shophouse he dined at in Sa Dec City in Dong Thap Province as the best across the region.

My’s criteria consisted of two categories – for the 'hu tieu' to take the top spot it had to be “cheap and delicious at the same time.” He noted that some restaurants might serve more delicious food at a higher price and vice versa.

In the 1950s, 'hu tieu' was sold on just about every corner in Saigon.

Everyone from big fancy restaurants to small portable street stalls was serving bowls of the steamy noodles, typically filled with pork, pig innards, chicken, or venison. Broth was either included or set aside, depending on the style.

“I have tasted all imaginable styles of 'hu tieu' and, though each person might enjoy a different type of ‘hu tieu’ depending on their appetite and personal preference, Ba Sam’s stall in Sa Dec City serves the cheapest and most delicious bowl I have ever tried,” My wrote to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

According to My, the shop’s history began in 1968, when a Chinese-Vietnamese woman, nicknamed Ba Sam (Lady Sam), started running a 'hu tieu' business out of her house on Tran Hung Dao Street in Sa Dec.

The stall gained traction among local diners for its cheap price and good quality. The business has since been passed on to her daughter and granddaughter.

Since the stall’s inception, My wrote, Ba Sam has always reminded her successors to keep in mind such simple yet effective business philosophies as “profit from hard work,” “serve the working class,” “be honest and attentive,” “make just enough,” and others.

To prepare for a day of business, the family wakes up at the crack of dawn to ensure they will have time to stew the broth for one hour with a host of ingredients including bones, dried squid, and pork. Everything is fresh and supplied by the same merchants that have worked with the shop for many years.

Even with inflation having hit most of the country, Ba Sam has not let the economy affect the way her business is run. In fact, a bowl of Ba Sam’s 'hu tieu' still costs what it did ten years ago - VND6,000 (US$0.27) for a regular bowl and VND10,000 ($0.45) for a special bowl. Extra meat only costs VND1,000 ($0.04).

My said the quality of Ba Sam’s 'hu tieu' is a far cry from its deceptive price and people from all over the country flock to the stall throughout the year for a taste of the dish.

The broth of the 'hu tieu,' My described, has a sense of natural sweetness from the bones and the dried squid, the meat is tender and fragrant, and the noodle is typical of Sa Dec.

The 20m2 shop opens from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm and is only attended by four family members, each with a seemingly permanent smile.

“I’m addicted to its rustic bustle, its idyllic smell of labor, and its Sa Dec-ish taste of a sentimental countryside. Just imagine slurping a bowl of Ba Sam’s 'hu tieu,' sweating like a dog and contemplating unique business philosophies,” My wrote. “Those are experiences you don’t get at school or when traveling to a foreign country.”


Read more




‘Taste of Australia’ gala dinner held in Ho Chi Minh City after 2-year hiatus

Taste of Australia Gala Reception has returned to the Park Hyatt Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1 after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Vietnamese woman gives unconditional love to hundreds of adopted children

Despite her own immense hardship, she has taken in and cared for hundreds of orphans over the past three decades.

Latest news

Rare photos of uncontacted Amazon tribes

Members of an uncontacted Amazon Basin tribe and their dwellings are seen during a flight over the Brazilian state of Acre along the border with Peru, May 2008