The Lunch Lady has been on top of my bucket list for the longest time. I was introduced to her by Anthony Bourdain in his No Reservations show. He loves Vietnam and the fact that you can eat a great bowl of noodles on the street/sidewalk. And one of his favorites was the Lunch Lady.
The Lunch Lady of Ho Chi Minh City
Finding the Lunch Lady of Ho Chi Minh City was not an easy task at first. It’s located near the river and from the direction we came from, had to navigate a lot of long and narrow streets. But it opens up on a vacant lot filled with small tables and a few food carts. We found the Lunch Lady.
It is obvious that Anthony Bourdain had a huge influence from all over the world. The place was packed with western and Asian foreigners alike. There were locals eating there as well which shows that this is the right place to eat.
Lunch Lady doesn’t have a menu per se. She cooks different bowls of noodles every day depending on what is available in the market and what she can get her hands on. Each person is served with a bowl of noodles and a couple of side dishes including a shrimp cake and spring rolls. Now you’d think this is a set menu per person but you can actually say no to the side dishes.
We ate twice at Lunch Lady. Once on Saturday and another on Sunday so we were able to experience two kinds of noodles. The first was more of a traditional Pho which had an amazing clear broth and thin rice noodles. It was packed with different types of meat and greens which greatly enhances the flavour.
Our second meal involved a different kind of noodle soup. The broth was heavy and thick. It had some spice to it which made the entire bowl red. A HUGE dominant shrimp lied on top of the bowl. This bowl of noodles is like the Philippine’s Lomi, a thick and heavy noodle soup. This was packed with seafood and other delights.
What’s amazing about the bowls of noodles from Lunch Lady is that each bite is an adventure. You don’t really know what you are getting but it’s good. And that’s all that matters.
Next up is a couple of food entries that we never planned on finding but were amazing experiences as well.