Rice platter – the dish with abundant Saigon identity

May 28, 2020

Porkchop, pork skin, meatloaf, pickles, dipping fish sauce in a rice platter, just imaging that, I can fell the smell of the migrant, mixing, and generous Saigon.

In comparison to Pho, spring rolls, Vietnam baguette, rice platter is not much famous on international media. However, for overseas Vietnamese, especially the Saigonese, they will have an attachment to the casual rice platter, which can be eaten for any meal in a day. On taking a Western friend to visit here and there, dropping by a restaurant for lunch, I a bit confusedly decide to get him some Pho. Meanwhile, for myself, I often have a rice platter on the sidewalk for lunch. There are some pieces of pork chop on the grill. The aromatic smoke is flying, which lures me to get in.

Pork is on the grill is attracting customers.

No one knows when the rice platter was born, but every Saigonese grew up with rice platters. The mother takes her kid to school, they drop by a small vendor to have two rice platter. Sometimes, if she is too busy to cook, the mother will buy for kid a box of rice platter for lunch to her kid. If a Vietnamese girl of the couple complaint she is hungry on hanging out, they will have two-midnight rice platter together.

Having a rice platter in an alley in Saigon

The ordinary rice platter is attached to the daily life of Saigon people. A rice platter is casual and charming at the same time. The rice is broken because it is filtered from perfect grains for sale. Poor people are only the ones who cook broken rice. Now it becomes popular with every Vietnamese and turns to expensive. A piece of marinated pork rib is grilled to brown. Meatloaf is made from fungus, vermicelli, and glair that is topped with a layer of yolk. It also dresses with a sunny side up egg and pickles. It can’t lack of fish sauce with garlic, chilies, and sugar to be boiled to be a bit pasted. Finally, scallion oil will make an accurately perfect rice platter.

Rice platter restaurant is hustled in every nook and corner at Saigon. There is some famous restaurant for tourists such as Cơm Tấm Bụi Sài Gòn restaurant, Cơm Tấm Thuận Kiều restaurant. Especially, it is a traditional rice platter restaurant Ba Ghiền, which is existed for twenty years in Phú Nhuận district. Whenever I come, I have to line up with bunch of people to wait for a plate of delicious rice platter.

A typical rice platter in Saigon

It is Saigon that always welcomes and embraces many cultures and cuisines of different regions in Vietnam. The question is that what is the specialty of Saigon cuisine will make Saigonese confused to answer. Each individual who has different memories will have diverse answers. Still, let’s have a look at this story. In a luxury restaurant that is located on the 51st floor of the highest building of Saigon, a rich mid-age couple is enjoying a fancy decor dish of spring roll, they look through the glasses window the bustled flow of motorcycle and walkers, just recall the rice platter, warm and hearted in that midnight. It is supposed that rice platter is not a prominent name but simply quiet lies on Saigonese hearts.

That rich flavor of Saigon is now served at our Tampa bay at Phở Quyên restaurant.  We have various choice of rice platters which are renovated with topping grilled beef, grilled curry chicken, grilled shrimp. Our family still remains the recipe of Saigon style but adjusts to American appetite. Come to Phở Quyên, we would love to let you indulge in a true Vietnam with not only in food but also in hospitality and sincerity of Vietnamese people.

Let’s your appetite lost in Saigon with us on a bestseller rice platter at Pho Quyen Cuisine INC at 2740 E Fowler Ave Tampa, FL 33612.