You hardly find a decent all you can eat joint in Vietnam that isn’t in a fancy pants hotel. Which is why I had to head to the Ba Le restaurant after a suggestion from one of our readers.
For 80,000VND, you get a veritable smorgasbord of Hoi An staples. Banh Xeo (crispy rice pancake), thit heo nuong sate (grilled pork sate), nem nuong (grilled pork meatballs) and tom cha gio (fried shrimp spring rolls). The place is very popular with the local crowd and the place was buzzing with activity when we went at two in the afternoon.
The procedure is very simple. Find a seat. A lady will come over for a drink order and a few minutes later, plates and plates of food start arriving. The service is quite attentive and if any of your plates hits the halfway eaten mark, they walk over and as if you want some more.
The garnishes consist of your typical mound of greens and herbs, some pickled vegetables, dry rice paper and a peanut sauce. The peanut sauce is worth the price of admission. Added with some thermonuclear red chili sauce and you get one of the tastiest sauces I have had in Vietnam. Stay away from the provided nuoc mam and just use the sauce for everything.
The pork is seasoned with some fish sauce, garlic and sugar, then grilled to perfection. The nem nuong was also seasoned perfectly and had some serious grill marks on them. They didn’t have any banh xeo when we were there but it was Tet so you have to give them some leeway. I can’t really eat shrimp so I had to pass on the spring rolls but my wife said they were delicious so I have to take her word for it.
It was a great meal and cheap to boot! A definite must see in Hoi An. If you feel the need to burn off a bit of those calories, head up the road to what is perhaps the most underwhelming tourist attraction in Hoi An.
45/51 Phan Chau Trinh
Ask for the Ba Le Well Lane
090 8433 121
Some other pics from the holiday: