5623a Chemin De La Côte-des-Neiges
I had been craving bánh cuốn for a while. Posts about bánh cuốn on other food blogs don't help! Bánh cuốn is a Vietnamese dish consisting of ground pork rolled in rice flour sheets. It was a breakfast staple when I was in Vietnam, topped with bánh tôm. It's a bit labour intensive; though my mom has made them, she usually orders them. Actually, my neighbour here in Hamilton makes them but the minimum order is 50! This time, we decided to go to Đào Viên, which specializes in bánh cuốn.
It's good to know they do not use MSG!
Since their condo is nearby, my sister and her fiancé biked to the restaurant to meet us. My mom and I got there early and I couldn't resist ordering a nice cool drink on one of the last days of summer. I ordered a chanh muối, a salted lemon drink ($2.50). The lemons are actually pickled with salt. I realize it's a weird combination for Westerners to have both a salty and sweet drink, but I love it! My sister ordered the xí muội (pickled plums) but thought it was too salty.
My chanh muối, salted lemon drink!
My mom, my sister and I all ordered the bánh cuốn Đào Viên plate for $7.75. The house special included both bánh cuốn and bánh ướt, served with chả chiên. Bánh ướt is essentially the same as bánh cuốn minus the meat filling; so just thin sheets of rice flour, rolled up. Chả chiên is a type of Vietnamese cold cut, made of ground pork, that has been fried (as opposed to steamed). The bánh are topped with fried onions (yum!) and are traditionally served with a side of bean sprouts. Finally, everything has to be drenched in nước chấm, fish sauce for dipping.
Bánh cuốn Đào Viên plate.
Although the restaurant specializes in bánh cuốn, it also has a selection of rice vermicelli dishes. D ordered the bún chả giò thịt nướng (rice vermicell with spring rolls and grilled meat). However, when I remembered to take a picture, he had already eaten most of it! The restaurant also offered lunch specials that included a soup for a good price. It's a small restaurant but worthwhile the stop for bánh cuốn in Montréal.
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