I’m not sure where to begin with this.
We are in Nha Trang, Vietnam. Sitting on the beach at the only bia toui we’ve found in the entire country. It’s called Louisianne. If you’re like me you’re thinking “gross, couldn’t get a bit more creative with the name?” right? They have pizza, spaghetti, nachos, Caesar salad, sushi!?…it’s more or less the Cheesecake Factory of Nha Trang.
Either way, they have beach chairs and a pool and Vietnamese “craft beer”. Hat trick!
As we sat and basked ourselves in the Eastern sun, we watched 3 ladies walk up to the edge of the resort property line. Pots, pans, grill tops and coals over shoulder. Perplexed, we sit with the other Westerners bronzing their bellies and swigging brews and stare for about 20 minutes. Finally 2 girls approach one of the ladies. They discuss something and have a seat on a tarp in the sand. Ok, I get it. So it’s beach food, like street food in Hanoi, or HCMC but on a beach…no tiny tables, no condiment caddies, no noodle soup spoons or chopsticks. Interesting. After watching them pull lobsters and crabs straight from the South China Sea out of their pots and locals swarm to one lady specifically, we were intrigued. Louisianne lagars downed. Time for beach food.
This is one thing I like about Vietnam. When we try to speak Vietnamese, a tonal language, and our tones are off, we just confuse the locals even more. We’ve learned that it’s best just to point at what you want. No offense is taken. Its like being a toddler all over again. Finger point, I want, I get. Why cant every exchange work this way. This is my finger in your face, I want you, here is some money, you’re mine now. Cảm ơn (Thank you).
We planned on a street food meal later so we ordered small. 1 crab. 1 lobster. We were brought to a tarp on the sand by a young boy. He sat us down and told us to wait. He brought us scissors, plates and a bowl of white sauce. No butter, no fancy exo skeletal crushing device, no bibs, no napkins. We got a few Tiger bia’s and watched the tide roll in as the sun went down and patiently awaited the food we ordered.
Course 1. Cua, the crab. I honestly don’t remember devouring this little guy. We spent the course of inhaling his innards discussing what we thought this little bowl of white sauce was.
Course 2. Tôm, the lobster. You may think it looks like a deep fried rodent, but that thing on the left cut in half is in fact an large langoustine. Char-grilled over a makeshift grill on the beach of Nha Trang. Caught in the water we were sitting in front of. Sweet lobster meat, dipped in this bowl of white sauce.
This sauce. I’m still salivating at the thought of this sauce. I dont think I will ever be able to dip another sweet piece of crustacean meat into a disgusting ramekin of melted butter ever again. I’m pretty sure it was a mixture of coconut milk, pepper, cane sugar and citrus. Simple. Delightful. The perfect combination of sweet, savory and spicy.
We were both so happy with our food we decided to order 4 more lobster tails, 2 bias and watch the sunset.
I’m not sure how to end this. Back at the beginning and the end, confused yet full and happy. I really dont have anything clever, witty or filthy to say about this. It was just perfect. I want to remember it that way.
2 years ago