Today we stopped by Ngon (means “delicious” in Vietnamese), a popular restaurant in downtown Saigon.
As with almost all Saigon restaurants it is an indoor/outdoor eatery. We’re in the tropics, folks. It’s hot! You want to catch every breeze you can get and sitting outside is pleasant and cool. Well, mostly cool … when it’s not hot and sticky.
Lining the perimeter of the restaurant are buffet stations set up to assemble various kinds of dishes: noodles, soups, salads …
These are the condiments at the salad bar. Get a load of those chilis. Hot, hot, hot! You can’t have a Viet salad without a healthy dose of chili.
This green papaya salad is one of my favorite Viet dishes. It’s really simple to make—cut raw green papapaya in long matchstick strips, drizzle liberally with Nước chấm (a Viet varietal of fish sauce), sprinkle with roasted peanuts and fresh mint. If so desired add a little protein like shrimp, chicken, pork or whatever your little heart desires.
Oh, and don’t forget the extra dose of chili.
This salad is so crunchy, flavorful and refreshing. The perfect lunch! Ngon is indeed delicious.