Where better to taste Asian street food than at a bustling market in Saigon? I walk onto a terrace where people are enjoying a chat, come across a bar where beers are piled high, step onto a busy patio and take a seat on one of the brightly colored bucket seats. The hubbub of the market and the scent of the Asian spices could convince me that I’ve really landed in Vietnam. But that couldn’t be further from the truth: I’m at Ănăn (ang-ang) on Voorstraat! But anyway, let’s taste.
Plenty of choice
The menu is composed of different dishes that all have a typical Asian character, and you can taste that they’re freshly made. The price is also quite friendly, by the way. We eat the spring roll with tofu and the bun with duck – sticky like a good duck should be! We get a bowl of warm water on the table with rice pancakes beside it. The idea is to dunk your pancake into the water, let it soak, and then roll up your own fresh ingredients – for example, the crispy chicken, coriander, mint, and other fresh herbs. But if you’d like something with fish or something vegetarian, that’s not a problem. By the way, rolling pancakes apparently isn’t one of my talents. But eating them is. The soups here are well filled, a little spicy, but definitely worth it. The menu really offers enough variety, so you have to come back a few times to taste everything. Not a bad side-effect.
Bright colors and smells
A big tip I want to give you: try the crispy noodles with meat and shrimp in particular. A pretty big portion, but for this amazing dish you’ll always have some space left. And otherwise ask for another ice-cold, homemade lemonade to catch your breath between all these goodies. Ănăn has a good ambiance, the type you could actually come across on a market in Asia. You could almost grab your flip-flops and shorts out of the closet! The service is very friendly, and the hostess welcomes you with a smile when you come in. The cheery colors and original set-up make it so that you can’t help but smile. A win for Utrecht. We’re going into the new year with a good feeling, and we’ll drink another beer in the busy streets of Saigon. Cheers!
Voorstraat 23 |Opening-hours: everyday from 12.00 until 22.30
Photo’s by Dainahara Polonia