Update: 19:00 | 28/10/2022
Since it opened four years ago, a steamed rice crepes stall in HCMC has gained increasing popularity for a distinctive, tangy, Da Lat inspired dish with chicken offal.
The rusty-looking banh uot long ga (rice crepe with chicken offal) stall owned by Phuoc Giau serves its specialty to between 600 and 700 hungry customers on any given day.
Those who favor Da Lat cuisine, the original home of this dish, are particularly drawn to the stall.
A bowl of steamed rice crepes with chicken offal topped with soft-boiled ovarian eggs, fried shallots, a chicken leg and a small bowl of dipping sauce at Phuoc Giau’s stall on Thien Phuoc Street, Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City.
Giau said he fell for the dish during a trip to the Central Highlands town and it inspired him to do some research into it and establish a stall in Ho Chi Minh City to cater to customers with similar tastes.
Although Giau's steamed rice crepe is inspired by the Da Lat dish, he has developed his own version that is different from the original.
He has replaced Vietnamese coriander with peppermint and created a special dipping sauce.
Giau only picks fresh ingredients of verifiable origin to make his specialty.
For instance, the chicken must come from hens that have only laid eggs once, so that the meat is firm, juicy, tasty and includes ovarian eggs.
Giau also has his own supply of the freshly handmade steamed rice crepes, which has a chewy, thick consistency and will not break when re-steamed.
The signature ingredient - soft-boiled ovarian eggs, is what has truly built the stall's reputation, amazing diners with the very first bite.
Many people might think that boiling an egg until it's soft-boiled is a simple task, but in reality, fresh, not frozen, eggs must be used along with proper timing and temperature adjustments, to make the best soft-boiled ovarian eggs, Giau explained.
The soft-boiled ovarian eggs at Giau's stall are eye-catching in color and have buttery taste, but they don't smell bad because of his "meticulous techniques."
A serving of the dish includes hot steamed rice crepes placed in a bowl, topped with onion blended with spices and herbs, chicken and pork offal, a chicken leg, and fried shallots.
The dish is ready to be served with a sweet and sour dipping sauce after putting two soft-boiled ovarian eggs on top, giving it a pleasing, appetizing look.
Ngoc Hanh, a District 3 resident, said she liked the banh uot long ga at Giau’s stall because, in addition to the hot banh uot, the chicken was chewy, sweet and not dry, not to mention the well-balanced sweet, sour, spicy and salty fish sauce.
Giau opens his stall each morning at 8:00 a.m. and serves customers until 9:00 p.m. Peak lunch and dinner hours are from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Every day, the stall sells an average of 40 chickens and 80 kilograms of steamed rice crepes.
It is difficult to dine on-site, particularly during peak hours, given the stall's very limited space. In addition, the location lacks free parking, so the ideal thing is for consumers to order takeaways or use delivery apps.
A special serving of steamed rice crepe with chicken offal costs VND48,000 ($2).
The stall also serves other dishes like hu tieu (stretchy rice noodles), chicken offal porridge, and chicken salad.
Giau's eatery is at 48 Thien Phuoc Street in Tan Binh District.