Bun Moc Saigon

Author : Efrain S.

EVER heard of bun moc, my friends? Or, I should say, “Bun Moc!” No, it’s not the name of a boring old 80’s movie, nor is it a cult or gang, ha hah. And no, neither is it that crazy song you heard on YouTube Music the other day, either. In fact, it’s noodles! YES, noodles, from Saigon, Vietnam!!!! Let me tell you more about these great noodles, if I have your time and attention…..

Now first of all, I ate these noodles for the first time when I was down in an alley street over in Saigon. And I have to say, they were not bad at all — the server lady even served me, and it was amazing. The first thing I noticed she did, after I sat down to eat there ( outside in the rich, open, fresh air, by the way, a truly unique experience, I must positively note ) , was to grab some rice noodles, a good handful of them ( which they call “bun”, over there ) . She then gently proceeded to pile them, neatly one after the other, right down ( into where, you ask? Into the bowl’s very base, right there at the circular bottom of the whole thing ) . So I could tell this would be the base or groundwork of the meal or bowl, upon which all else rests over. Like a deep – dish sort of salad, you might say….same concept here.

Now then, she threw in shallots, cilantro, and yes, just a tiny hint of chili sauce ( to add a little kick to things and make for a lightly mild – spicy bowl, all in all ) . She scooped up some broth, some pig bones, some black pepper, and then at the end, carefully mixed it all up together using her biggest spoon. It was so delicious, and I AM SURPRISED that I could sit down and eat so quickly over there, ha hah. Here in a typical restaurant, I would have to place my order, possibly wait to be seated, and then, wait for the food a few minutes and then eat. Here, she welcomed me as I passed by, sat me down in her table, and then served me a fresh bun moc in 20 seconds or less. And I was eating right away ( devouring mercilessly, I should say, because this stuff was darn – tootin’ good ) .

I thanked her for her meal, her time, and even her friendliness, and threw her a nice tip ( which, in Viet money, would be like a $10 tip ) . I used their currency, of course. Make sure you convert your money before you head out there…very important and a lot of people forget or try to do it when they’re already out there, but can’t find a money – conversion service nearby. Thankfully, I was already prepared.

And bun moc had not been on my list prior to going there. It sure came as a nice surprise, for me. And now, it IS on my list for when I re – visit.