Aug 31 2013

Morning Glory


My guide book said Morning Glory was the place to go to in Hoi An and we went there for dinner and loved it so much we came back here the next day for lunch as well. The restaurant is located in the centre of Hoi An on one of the busy tourist streets in an old colonial building and is run by Ms Trinh Diem Vy who was the first in Hoi An to set up a restaurant to cater to foreigners visiting Hoi An and now owns not only Morning Glory but also Cargo and Mermaid restaurants in Hoi An. She is also the first Vietnamese chef to start a cooking class in Hoi An and the first to start an international standard bakery and patisserie, and has also published her own book “Taste Vietnam, the Morning Glory cookbook”.

When we entered the Morning Glory restaurant, quite late on a Saturday evening at 9.30 pm (it closes at 10pm apparently but when we left close to 10 it was still quite busy) it was packed and we were seated on one of the last free tables. I went through the menu and it featured typical Vietnamese street food dishes, which I love, as well as Ms Vy’s own recipes and recipes from her mother and grandmother and other Vietnamese dishes. On the front page of the menu you can also read about Ms Vy and her food. Another great thing is that there is an open kitchen in the middle of the restaurant, which makes the place welcoming, but only a few dishes are prepared there and it is quite hard to see what the chefs are cooking there unless you stand very close.

A wonderful tour guide that had showed us some of the battle grounds of the Vietnam war earlier today suggested we try these two Vietnamese street food dishes in Hoi An, “Cao Lau” and “Mì Quảng”. When I asked the waitress in Morning Glory about these dishes, she said they did not have any “Mì Quảng” but we ordered “Cao Lau”. Cau Lau comes from Hoi An and it is a dish made with noodles, pork and greens. I had not had it before so can’t say how it compares to other “Cao Lau” but I really enjoyed it, although my boyfriend liked it less. We also ordered a morning glory salad with shrimps, which was delicious, very refreshing and the first time I saw morning glory in a salad. My guide book also had recommended to have one of Ms Vy’s creations, the caramelized fish in a clay pot so we did order that, and it was a good fish, cooked well, although I was not over the top about it. My boyfriend also ordered “Bun Cha” which was the best dish we had during this meal and which was a salad, originally from Hanoi, made out of Vietnamese rice noodles, pork meetballs, greens and Vietnamese dressing and you mixed it all together and ate it. It was delicious, very tasty and similar to some of the street food dishes we had in Hanoi.

The next day when we came back we ordered “Mì Quảng”, which they did have and which apparently is one of the most popular dishes in central Vietnam and served on various important events. It consisted of rice noodles died yellow with the help of turmeric, served in a seasoned broth with some pork and served with lettuce, mint, coriander and basil. I liked it but was not too keen and my boyfriend did not like this dish. Hoi An is also famous for their wontons, so I ordered wontons with crab and they were served like a large cracker with the crab on top, not like you would imagine a wonton to look like, and was quite nice. I also ordered some fried zucchini with spices and garlic and that was delicious, extremely soft and almost melted in your mouth. Once again the best dish was ordered by my boyfriend and it was skewers of beef that you wrapped in rice paper with some rice noodle sheets and garnish. It was delicious.

For a wonderful Vietnamese meal head to Morning Glory where you will be able to taste the most famous Hoi An dishes as well as Vietnamese street food in a safe and pleasant environment.

Date: 31/ 08/ 13
Location: Hoi An, Vietnam
Price for 2 people, no alcohol: First time we went there I left VND 550,000 with some service charge (£16), and the second time we went there, I left VND 450,000 (£13)

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Morning Glory
106 Nguyễn Thái Học, tp
Hoi An
Morning Glory Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 4