The delicacies of Moon River

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The riverside restaurant adapts central region delicacies to the taste of southerners


Fine rice vermicelli with grilled pork at Moon River Restaurant

Situated on the banks of the Saigon River, the Moon River Restaurant is an ideal dining venue along the Thanh Da Peninsula in Binh Thanh District.

The restaurant provides customers with pure and cool air, spacious and beautiful views, with the romance of the Saigon River.

Apart from the setting, the delicacies available at the Moon River Restaurant keep locals and foreign customers coming back for more.

Most of the salty and spicy delicacies come from recipes that originated in the central region or Binh Dinh Province. However, while Moon River transforms the dishes to make them more suitable to the southern palate, they do not loose the special taste of central Vietnamese cooking thanks to the exquisite skills of Tran Thi Thanh, who is both the restaurant's owner and head chef.

The dishes are abundant and varied, from the snacks to main courses, with a menu that includes hundreds of choices, all of which are prepared and presented elaborately.

Binh Dinh Province specialties include nem lụi (grilled minced pork over bamboo) and tré (sour sausage with pig ear, sesame and roasted rice powder). These foods conjure up warm childhood memories to those who grew up in south central Vietnam.

Thịt thưng is a braised beef delicacy that is very popular among Moon River's customers. To prepare the dish, the cook chooses a slab of beef three or four centimeters thick and marinates it in fish sauce, sugar, salt, pepper, onion and garlic.

The marinated beef is then placed into a heated, oiled pan and fried until it is golden on both sides. Next, the beef is boiled until the liquid thickens and the beef becomes tender. The meat is then sliced. Customers may enjoy the beef with lettuce and herbs rolled with rice paper, dipping the combination into fish sauce.

Giò heo chiên (deep fried pork leg) sounds simple but it is truly the restaurant's specialty. The pork leg is crispy, but never overdone or dry and is delicious with pickled onion.

Gỏi gân bò (salad with beef tendon) is another favorite of customers. Translucent pieces of crispy and chewy beef tendon are mixed with banana blossoms.

Central region dishes such as bánh hỏi thịt nưá»›ng (fine rice vermicelli with grilled pork), bánh bèo (small steamed savory rice cakes) and bún cá ngừ (vermicelli soup with tuna) are also highly popular.

In addition, the restaurant always heeds the adage that satisfied customers are the key to a successful restaurant. Accordingly, the majority of the dishes are prepared without MSG. The restaurant goes to great lengths to make their main dishes as healthy as possible, accompanying them with lots of herbs and salad.

On weekends, diners should arrive early, as the Moon River Restaurant is often crowded with customers.

The Moon River Restaurant is located at 1035 Xo Viet Nghe Tinh Street, Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City.

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