Thanks to a tip, I discovered the best food I’ve had in Asia and enjoyed the best meals I have had since Italy and the steak dinner in Chamonix. Miss Ly Cafeteria 22 in Hoi An has been in business for almost two decades and serves unbelievable Vietnamese and local Hoi An cuisine. All of the dishes are made with fresh, organic, and local ingredients and are msg-free (a rarity in this part of the world). We visited the restaurant four (or five?) times in as many days. Admittedly, on each visit we reordered our favorites, but also managed to add in a few extra dishes. We probably won some sort of overeating award. Here is the honor roll:
Fried wontons (hoanh thanh chien): sautéed pork, prawns, tomato, and onion with sauce and served on a flat wonton. This one stole our hearts.
White rose (banh bao): steamed prawns in rice dumplings with garlic, fried onion, and chili.
Cao lau (mi cao lai): Hoi An specialty of thick noodles, sliced roast pork, herbs, fresh greens, and croutons.
Grilled pork spring rolls (thit nuong): in rice paper with fresh herbs and peanuts. Another game changer.
Grilled fish (ca nuong): steak wrapped in a banana leave with herbs and chili.
Green papaya salad (goi du du): with onions, vegetables, herbs, and rice crackers. Of all the green-whatever salads I’ve had in south east Asia, this one is in a league of its own.
Sweet and sour prawn soup with noodles.
Stir fried morning glory (rao muong xao toi): with garlic and chili.
Stir fried beef (bo xau trung): marinated beef with onion, tomato, and boiled egg.
Sweet and sour squid (muc chua ngot): with vegetables.
Fried rice: with squid, shrimp, onion, carrot, bean, garlic, and egg.
Are you salivating yet? I am and I’m still full. If you come to Hoi An, you must visit Miss Ly. Here is how you can find her: