August 30, 2007
Cuisine: Seafood, Vietnamese
Da Nang, Vietnam
Goi Buoi Muc – pomelo and squid salad (80,000 VND)
Ca Hap Hanh Gung – steamed fish with ginger and onions (252,000 VND)
While vacationing in Da Nang, The Astronomer and I took our hotel’s tandem bike for a spin up Monkey Mountain. Even though the bike was made for a vertically-challenged couple, we managed to attack the hills like champs and not swerve off the road. We rule.
After biking (mostly) uphill for eight miles, we took a much needed dip at a beautiful private beach. Sadly, a jellyfish sting on my arm ended our beach fun early. We packed up our things, hopped back on our bike, and explored a pagoda with an intensely gorgeous view for the rest of the morning. After taking in the sites at the pagoda, we biked to Buddha Bay for lunch.
The Buddha Bay restaurant is located right on the water and boasts spectacular views. The furnishings are understated and blend in seamlessly with the tropical surroundings. We were seated in a private “cabana” (or floating raft according to The Astronomer) and had a waitress serving us throughout our meal. The service was a little too attentive for my laidback state, but that’s the way hospitality goes at nice restaurants in Vietnam.
Not wanting anything too heavy, I ordered a pomelo and squid salad. The salad was served inside a hollowed-out pomelo and contained huge pieces of squid, fried shallots, and dressed in a spicy fish sauce vinaigrette. The salad’s tart and sweet flavors were so simple and yet so amazing. Sorry to get all TomKat on you.
The Astronomer ordered a whole steamed fish with ginger and scallions, which our diligent waitress deboned. The fish was cooked to order and thus incredibly fresh and flavorful. Although we’re not sure what type of fish it was, its flesh was white and flakey. The Astronomer enjoyed the fish with rice, even though rice paper and greens were available for making rolls.
Totaling $20, our feast at Buddha Bay was easily our most expensive Vietnamese meal to date. The food was good, but it was the restaurant’s natural and peaceful ambiance that made our experience truly memorable.