Bé Ốc

January 12 and 20, 2008
Cuisine: Vietnamese, Seafood

58/53 Vinh Khanh Street
District 4, Ho Chi Minh City

Phone: 0903658293
Website: none

Chao Ngheu – clam porridge (20,000 VND)

So Huyet Xao Toi – blood cockles fried in garlic (20,000 VND)

Oc Mo Xao Me – snails sauteed in tamarind (20,000 VND)

Chem Chep Nuong – grilled mussels with scallion oil and peanuts (20,000 VND)

Ngheu Hap Xa – clams steamed with lemongrass (20,000 VND)

Hot Vit Lon Xao Me – fertilized duck with tamarind (5,000 VND)

Cua Rang Muoi – crab prepared with salt and garlic (80,000 VND)

So Huyet Xao Me – blood cockles sauteed in tamarind (20,000 VND)
Bé Ốc is a bumpin’ sidewalk seafood joint in District 4 I discovered a few weeks back while taking a xe om. The Astronomer and I, along with our friends Zach and Tom and Tom’s GF Vuong, came here for dinner last Saturday after a long day of pretending to be tourists at the Cu Chi Tunnels and the Cao Dai Temple.
Sidewalk seafood eateries in Saigon usually begin setting up shop at around 5 PM. Their menus tend to be heavy on the protein, light on the carbohydrates and cheap in the beer department. Talk about the perfect formula for getting extremely wasted! The restaurant’s main clientèle are chain smoking, beer guzzling, middle-aged guys looking to relax after a hard days work. Woot to that! There’s also a spattering of families and women, and the occasional expatriates.
I have found that it is really difficult in Vietnam to get waiters and waitresses’ opinions on the best dishes of the house. I’ve pretty much stopped asking because their response most of the time is “everything is good,” which isn’t the least bit helpful.
Directionless, we decided to order a slew of shellfish and crustaceans prepared in a variety of ways. We also ordered a large bowl of clam porridge to share and a couple hot vit lon for good measure.
Everyone thought that the snails sauteed in tamarind were stellar. In fact, Zach proclaimed them the best thing he’s tasted in the country! The spicy, sweet and sour flavors hit all the right notes, and the little bits of rendered pork fat and garlic paired tastily with the tender snails.
Another highlight were the grilled mussels with scallion oil and crushed peanuts. The mussels were lightly cooked and smoky, while the peanuts and scallions provided depth and texture to the dish. It’s incredible how such simple ingredients can yield deliciously complex flavors!
One of the most interesting dishes of the evening was the duck fetus. Hot vit lon, which is usually eaten fresh out of the shell with herbs, salt and pepper, was dressed to the nines at Bé Ốc. The tamarind, fried shallots, peanuts and basil completely overpowered the defenseless duckling, which was actually not a bad thing because without adornments, the fetus looks like unappetizing gray matter.
We finished off our seafood feast with piping hot clam porridge, which had an abundance of clams and subtle ginger and cilantro undertones. While hot porridge doesn’t usually appeal to me in the intense Saigon heat, the cool breeze blowing through District 4 this evening made it quite palatable.
Bé Ốc is good times. Bring your friends.

12 Responses to “Bé Ốc”


  1. 1 Cindy January 24, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    They all look so good,
    I wanna visit Vietnam some day too!

  2. 2 Tia Nguyen January 25, 2008 at 2:09 am

    I’m salivating! I was in VN in 2006 and can’t wait to go back just for the food!🙂

  3. 3 Gastronomer January 25, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Cindy – DO visit Vietnam! The food is unbelievable.

    Tia – come back and visit soon! your blog looks tasty as well😉

  4. 4 maomau January 28, 2008 at 7:51 am

    oh gawd, i remember our local friend taking us to some back alley for dinner & we thought this was crazy. but it turned out to be one of our best meals in Vietnam. yum, can’t wait to go back someday. :9

  5. 5 Gastronomer January 28, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    maomau – back alleys may look sketchy, but they can also be super tasty!

  6. 6 edi solution May 9, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    So you only have to remember one single master password or select
    the key file to unlock the whole database.
    The mini spy pen camera is available in 4GB, 8GB and 16 GB for regular use as per requirement of the customer.
    Waiting until the park is about to close is one way to
    get some privacy, as is visiting the park during Disneyland’s less busy times.

  7. 7 Jacquelyn May 10, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    So you only have to remember one single master password or select
    the key file to unlock the whole database. The mini spy pen camera
    is available in 4GB, 8GB and 16 GB for regular use as per requirement of the customer.

    The sale for Samsung Galaxy S has reached 10 millionth mark, thus
    making it the most successful Android smartphone so far.

  8. 8 http://conversation.which.co.uk May 20, 2013 at 9:40 am

    For the novice, the first thing you need to understand is what the term “Digital Single Lens Reflex” means.

    A montage specially edited for the occasion works best.
    The Fujifilm Fine – Pix x100 is generally considered a professional compact rangefinder camera.

  9. 9 windows 2000 dedicated server hosting May 21, 2013 at 10:32 am

    It is absolutely simpler over a lot of men and women believe.
    The built quality on the XPS is also a solid one with aluminum carbon chassis, giving it a sturdy, premium look.
    if you’re under 120 lbs, unless you’re really short you are NOT overweight.

  10. 10 archotol.jamanetwork.com May 30, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    This will get rid of the built up odours and leave everything clean and smelling fresh.
    A study in the British Medical Journal found a significant connection
    between a person”. The first step in the process of maintaining a mosquito-free bedroom is to secure the structure of the house.

  11. 11 drinking June 6, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    The rate of return against cost rises to 70% if the homeowner does the job
    herself, although the work often requires a level of expertise that is beyond the ability of most
    do-it-yourselfers. A study in the British Medical Journal found a significant connection
    between a person”. One popular bathroom fixture today
    that many interior decorators and home owners use is a shower bath.

  12. 12 Thai Food Recipes August 27, 2014 at 2:38 am

    Hello, for all time i used to check weblog posts
    here in the early hours in the daylight, since i like to
    learn more and more.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s





%d bloggers like this: