Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Vietnamese Soup

There are a number of Vietnamese restaurants in town, and the best thing at most of them is the soup. Pho is the most famous dish -- a beef soup with rice noodles -- but so far, my favorite soups are the lesser known variations.

Asia's Finest is probably the best Vietnamese restaurant in town. I say probably because I never get past my favorite soup there. Bun Bo Hue (VN12 on the menu) is a spicey soup with wheat noodles. They say on the menu it's a beef soup, but every time I have got it, there has been thinly sliced pork. As with all the soups, it comes in a huge bowl, with a plate of herbs, and shredded raw vegetables and beansprouts that you drop into the hot soup. These soups are generally designed to be eaten with chopsticks (or a fork) and then you drink the broth with the spoon...or okay, when no one is looking, straight out of the bowl.

Asian House in East Lansing has a wonderful soup on the menu as "S2". This one isn't spicey, although it comes with a bottle of hot sauce and hoisin sauce. It's a rich broth with sliced pork, wontons and egg noodles -- plus the usual plate of veggies and herbs.

Eating S2 can be a fun ritual, since it goes so well with the hoisin sauce. Take your ladle-like asian soup spoon, and use your chopsticks or fork to fill it with noodles, a bit of veg, a leaf of basil or cilantro, and maybe a bit of meat, then give it a squirt of hoisin, and slurp it up. Oooooo. Good.

More about other good dishes at these restaurants later....

Asia's Finest, 6443 S. Cedar St in south Lansing. 393-1688
Asian House, 1001 E. Grand River Ave in East Lansing. 332-3950

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