|Home from home: Sa Pa Home restaurant is an ideal place to enjoy traditional Vietnamese cuisine while looking out over the magnificent Sa Sa Ho valley. — VNS Photos Hoai Nam
Sa Pa Home Restaurant
Address: 037, Fansipan Street, Sa Pa Town
Comments: Fresh food, good service and resonable price
Head chef Tran Anh Duc says pork cooked three ways, roast duck and fried salmon are the most popular dishes with diners. Cong Thanh
reports.Sa Pa Home restaurant, located on Fansipan Street at the edge of the Muong Hoa valley in the tourism town of Sa Pa, is an ideal site to enjoy Vietnamese cuisine while looking over the stunning panoramic views of the valley through the windows.
The restaurant is built in a classic architectural style with hardwood floors and a wood fired stove in the centre which warms the room on cold winter nights.
Sa Pa is always very cold in winter when foreign tourists flock to the town for their Christmas holidays but warmth can be found if you know where to look.
Prospective diners can find the restaurant on the way to Cat Cat village, the most visited site in Sa Pa, by looking for the chimney on the roof.
Pork three ways
Head chef Tran Anh Duc says that pork cooked three ways, roast duck and fried salmon with butter are the most popular dishes at the restaurant.
The chef selects the best tenderloin from pigs raised locally by ethnic Mong people to cook three ways – meatballs, filets and fried.
"We order pork from the local Mong people because local farmers rear the biggest black pigs which are around 20 kilos. The ethnic group raises black pigs with natural food including grass and roots from their gardens and surrounding hills which develop a special flavour in the lean meat," the chef explained.
To prepare the meatballs, a tenderloin is chopped and shaped into balls before being marinated in a mixture of oil, basil, mint and onion for 20 minutes. They're then seared in oil and grilled.
Pork for the filets is sliced into bite-size pieces, rolled and secured into place with tiny bamboo sticks before being soaked in the same mixed spice as the meatballs.
|In the pink: Head chief Tran Anh Duc prepares pork cooked three ways in the kitchen of Sa Pa Home restaurant.
An entire tenderloin rounds the pork trio. It is first seared in a pan and then roasted in a 220 degree oven.
All three dishes are served together with sauce that includes fresh steamed pumpkin, ginger, citronella, aniseed and salt.
"You can smell the warm and diverse flavours of the local natural herbs. The herbs create a scented peppery taste and flavour while the grilled pork has a nice smokey flavour," said staff member Tran Doanh.
He says European tourists tend to pair the trio with bread or rice while Japanese diners prefer it with soya sauce.
Preparation of the duck begins by cutting it into slices and then rolling it in a seasoning of ginger, citronella and salt. It's then grilled before being served with the steamed pumpkin sauce, bamboo-tube rice, sesame, salt and onions.
Locally-farmed salmon has become a popular dish for domestic and foreign visitors alike. The menu lists the dish as fried in butter, but a special sauce made of local herbs, mushrooms, wild leaves and coconut milk provides the real flavour to this dish.
To serve, the salmon is set on a banana leaf formed in the shape of a boat.
Sapa Home restaurant, which seats 100, is not only a place to enjoy different dishes, but a delightful panoramic view of the stunning Muong Hoa valley.
Open daily from 6am to 10pm, guests can choose from a distinctive special breakfast to a nice lunch and a dinner a-la-carte. — VNS