Sat, 20th Apr 2024 22:51 (GMT +7)

What's inside Hanoi's priciest crab noodle soup?

Sunday, 24/03/2024 | 23:43:07 [GMT +7] A  A

With the most expensive option at $8 per bowl, exclusively on weekends, Miss Ba's crab noodle soup in Hanoi remains a favorite, praised for its fresh crab sourced from southern Vietnam.

What's inside Hanoi's priciest crab noodle soup?
Miss Ba eatery, at 10B Tang Bat Ho Street, Hai Ba Trung District, has been serving patrons since 2018, offering a daily menu centered around dishes like spicy beef noodle soup or fermented fish noodle soup.

On weekends, the spotlight is on their banh canh cua - crab tapioca noodle soup, priced at either VND90,000 or VND200,000 ($3.60 to $8) per bowl.

Compared to other shops in Hanoi where crab noodle soup typically costs around VND80,000 per bowl, Ba's prices seem slightly high.

However, according to Tran Bich Ngoc, the owner, the quality justifies the price. The restaurant uses crab sourced from Nam Can Town from Ca Mau Province, southern Vietnam, known for the best sea crabs in Vietnam. Plus, with an open kitchen counter, guests can witness the freshness and care put into each dish as soon as they step in.

What's inside Hanoi's priciest crab noodle soup?
Each bowl is adorned with herbs, crab rolls, shrimp, and shredded crab meat. The most expensive option, priced at VND200,000, includes two additional crab legs. Some diners opt for extra crab legs, which are weighed and priced accordingly. The highest-priced set ever sold by Ngoc reached VND500,000 ($20). Nam Can crab typically ranges from VND350,000 to VND550,000 ($14 to $22) per kilogram, sometimes surpassing VND600,000 during peak seasons like September. This variety of crab is renowned for its firm and nutritious meat, making it suitable for long-distance transportation.

What's inside Hanoi's priciest crab noodle soup?

In addition to crab meat, the restaurant also selects its shrimp with great care. Ngoc emphasizes quality over quantity, often accepting higher input costs to ensure premium ingredients.

"It is important to maintain a quality that matches the price," she said.

Most customers at the restaurant are middle-aged, often recommended by family members. Lately, social media has also been bringing in new customers.

Miss Ba’s signature crab noodle soup features a rich broth. The broth is simmered overnight before adding the crab rolls the next morning. Unlike the sweeter southern variety, Miss Ba’s broth has a lighter taste tailored to suit the palate of Hanoi. The consistency is adjusted to provide satisfaction without overwhelming the senses.

What's inside Hanoi's priciest crab noodle soup?

Despite its limited space, the restaurant accommodates approximately 50 patrons across two floors. Although the entrance is narrow and might require some careful navigation at times, hygiene remains a top priority at the restaurant.

What's inside Hanoi's priciest crab noodle soup?

A bowl of crab noodle soup with two extra crab legs costs VND200,000.

Ngoc said that the portion size might seem modest, but it's enough to satisfy hunger due to the variety of other ingredients. She believes that serving too many noodles can overwhelm her guests.

The restaurant only serves crab noodle soup on weekends. To accommodate the midweek menu changes and preparation requirements, crabs are imported and processed from Tuesday onwards. They are steamed, peeled, and frozen. Additionally, the crab rolls are specially imported from Hue in central Vietnam based on the owner's preferences.

According to Ngoc, there's no secret recipe for a delicious bowl of crab noodle soup. She simply relies on fresh ingredients. She believes that steaming seafood maintains its freshness and sweetness, enhancing the dish's flavor.

What's inside Hanoi's priciest crab noodle soup?

Regular patron Vu Thi Phuong (C), living in Kham Thien Street, has been a loyal fan of the restaurant for six years and is familiar with the daily menu.

She particularly enjoys the crab noodle soup and frequently opts for the VND90,000 set, while her husband prefers the beef pho.

"I can definitely taste the freshness of the seafood. It's true what they say, you get what you pay for," she says.

What's inside Hanoi's priciest crab noodle soup?
Opening its doors at 7 a.m., Miss Ba offers a selection of fixed dishes such as banh mi, pho, and crab noodle soup. Daily specials become available for ordering from 9:30 a.m.

Source: VnExpress