Address: Shop G51, G/F, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, 17 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Nha Trang has always been one of my family’s favourite Vietnamese restaurants in Hong Kong. With affordable prices, delicious food and a great view of Victoria Harbour, its not difficult to understand why. If you go there on a weekend at night, expect it to be packed to the brim- but the wait is worth it! The interior of the restaurant is not very big and hence it is pretty cramped and noisy- but once you settle down and order a few dishes that doesn’t really matter. Plus, the energetic atmosphere adds to the character of the restaurant, which prides itself in serving authentic food in a vibrant setting.
For starters, we first ordered pork and shrimp spring rolls (cha gio). I love ordering spring rolls in Vietnamese restaurants because they are always served with lettuce leaves and fresh herbs, which you can place the rolls in and wrap around like a parcel. For my spring rolls, I paired them with a slice of cucumber, a mint leaf, and then wrapped it in a large lettuce leaf. The juiciness of the pork and shrimp filling complemented the crispy exterior, and blended well with the vegetable/herb shell.
We also ordered a pan-seared stuffed squid (muc nhoi thit), which consisted of a full squid, stuffed with pork and chopped squid, grilled and then cut into pieces sideways. The outcome? Almost identical to a Chinese style 肉餅, but with a more vibrant flavour due to it being grilled.
Next up were the fillet of sole salad rolls (ca chien cuon), which proved to be an interesting change from the everyday prawn and avocado salad rolls. The sole fillet was deep fried and served with spiced mayonnaise, cucumbers, pickles and wrapped together in lettuce and rice rolls. The flavours were not too overpowering and so you could taste each individual ingredient, and alongside with the different textures- crispy, chewy, crunchy, soft- this dish was just how I imagined it would taste.
We also ordered Vietnamese steamed rice raviolis- a delicate dish consisting of minced shrimp and pork steamed in rice-flour sheets, topped with garlic flakes and Vietnamese sausage. This is another one of those dishes that my family never fails to order whenever we eat in a Vietnamese restaurant, and Nha Trang’s execution of this dish did not leave us disappointed. The otherwise simplistic flavours of the fillings and the rice roll were given a tantalising kick when combined with the garlic (as well as the fish sauce provided for dipping).
The cabbage chicken salad also fared well with its refreshing combination of cabbage, picked radish, shredded chicken, bean sprouts, fried garlic and peanuts, all tossed together in fish sauce. The prawn crackers were also a nice addition to the dish.
For our mains, we ordered a bahn mi– which is basically a Vietnamese Baguette sandwich. Simplistic as it looks, this sandwich was scrumptious, with layers of three cold cut slices – salami sausage, pork knuckle sausage, and roast pork. To add an extra crunchiness to the sandwich, the bahn mi also has sliced cucumber, chopped cilantro (coriander), and shredded carrot and pickled radish tucked snugly in between the chewy layers. Finally, liver pate and mayonnaise are added to the dish for a more even, smooth texture.
Finally, we ordered a broken rice platter consisting of toasted rice, egg fritatas, shredded pork, and a lemongrass pork chop. The term “broken rice” refers to the fact that the rice in this dish is cut up into little bits, giving it a unique, stickier texture and a nutty, almost coconut flavour. The fritatas were nothing special but the rice definitely paired well with eggs, and the porkchop had the perfect proportion of meat to fat.
My verdict? Delicious- especially the bahn mi. My only complaint was that there didn’t seem to be any desserts available apart from a caramel pudding, and the place was a little too cramped and noisy at times, but apart from that, it’s definitely a restaurant I’ll be going to again and again in the future.