A new Vietnamese eatery serving up authentic northern and central Vietnamese fare
We have something to confess: We didn’t really know what authentic Vietnamese food was until recently, when Gai Lai Mitwichan, one of the country’s noted food experts, and his sister opened up Tonkin-Annam. Aiming to reclaim Vietnam’s culinary reputation, this small eatery in Ta Tien serves addictive Vietnamese favorites that do their best to stay true to their roots. (Most of the self-proclaimed “Vietnamese” restaurants here tend to abuse staples like phở and nem nướng and transform them into sidekicks for Isan fare.)
In a basic shophouse turned restaurant, the Mitwichan siblings pay tribute to their Vietnamese ancestors with delicacies from Tonkin and Annam, the names for Vietnam’s northern and central regions, respectively. The eatery also prides itself on using produce from local sustainable sources, although certain ingredients such as fish sauce and pepper are imported from Vietnam.
Typical Vietnamese street snacks familiar to Thais are served. The DIY favorite, nem nướng (meaty pork patties or sausages, B250), for example, comes in a basket and is served with chewy and slightly crunchy rice paper (instead of the water-soaked Thai counterpart), condiments and green herbs. A signature dipping sauce, loaded with a tantalizing umami flavor, elevates the dish. The chả tôm (B250) is simple yet delicious, seeing perfectly seasoned, savory-sweet shrimp grilled on a sugarcane stick.
Also on the menu are less familiar selections like bánh bèo (B160), a breakfast favorite in Hue that stands out for its combination of gooey steamed rice cake, grilled pork and shrimp bits, and crispy pork rind. The banana blossom salad is exceptionally refreshing, featuring a hearty and peppery combination of shrimp, roasted pork and pork sausage given an acidic kick with home-grown kumquat.
The full-on journey to Vietnam wouldn’t be complete without the country’s famed coffee. Try cà phê trứng (B80), a specialty from Hanoi that incorporates egg yolk into steaming caffeinated cups.
Soi Ta Tien (Krung Thai Bank), Maharaj Road
|Opening hours:||Wed-Mon 10:00-22:00|