When the sidekick outshines the hero (Duck and bamboo shoot vermicelli soup noodles, Bun Mang Vit)

22 Oct

No. 7 of 100 things I love about Cabramatta.

Duck and bamboo shoot vermicelli soup noodles. Bun Mang Vit : which literally translates to Bun (vermicelli), Mang (bamboo shoots) and Vit (duck).

There are very few vietnamese soup noodles where you get ANOTHER dish served with it (crispy skin chicken doesn’t count! There just isn’t enough room in ONE bowl to fit both chicken AND noodles…so that only counts as bad logistics…stop getting so excited).

The soup bowl includes (usually dried and reconstituted) bamboo shoots. The use of dried bamboo shoots as opposed to the wet pickled type, gives it a better flavour. It’s sweeter and doesn’t have that heavy pickled smell which can override a dish. I must say, bamboo shoots are an acquired taste.

Also, this dish has sliced duck giblets which have that  lovely rubbery, crunchy texture that the Vietnamese (I included) love. The closest term I can think of, would be ‘al dente’, however it’s a poor description. It’s most evident when munching on pig’s ears. A real firm gelatinous crunch.

Then of course you have a bed of thin rice vermicelli covered in steaming hot broth. It’s a real comfort food. Oh plus a cube of blood jelly (i’m not a fan of this).

So that was a description of the “hero”. Now for Robin (if the hero was Batman) the sidekick: the duck salad (Goi Vit, Goi=salad, Vit=Duck) that comes with tasty fresh ginger fish sauce. Depending on where you go, this salad could be a tiny heap or a huge mound (like the one I get from Phu Quoc).

The herbs used are very specific, not your typical thai basil (which is popular with dishes like Pho) or bean sprout which can potentially water down this already very light broth. This duck dish is served with vietnamese mint, shredded cabbage and carrots. Long green leaves with purple hearts (see those green leaves on the top image?). Very spicy and when coupled with duck is a match made in heaven!

I have been so satisfied with the salad that I have been known to order ONLY the salad. Of course I get the incredulous looks and upward eye rolls! As you can see from the pic below, there is so much duck meat! Phu Quoc’s one is sooooo tender. I have tried other places and have had  awful tough ones.

Phu Quoc 117 John (cnr of Hill st), $12.

duck salad vietnamese ginger

The Batman of the bun mang vit duo. I like it loaded with white pepper

duck meat on salad

Salad with the steamed duck pulled out to show you how meaty and generous this dish is.

Phu Quoc on Urbanspoon

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