What to order in Vietnamese restaurant: Nhà Em

I have to admit, I haven’t really taken the time to explore and experience Vietnamese cuisine. I mean, I have tried PHO before, but that’s about it. I cannot recall sampling any other dish–well, maybe spring rolls, but I’m not even sure if the ones I tried were Vietnamese. I have heard some amazing things about their cuisine though, and I have friends who really plan trips to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh just to taste authentic Vietnamese dishes.

Of course, I was more than happy to change all that–I was so ready to get to know what this particular cuisine was all about. And like an answered prayer, the Baby Barangay was invited to NHÀ EM, which is the newest Vietnamese resto in SM Aura Premier.

Nha em actually means “my home”, and boy, did the girls and I feel at home in this lovely restaurant. The owners wanted to share the experience of dining in a countryside home in Vietnam, where meals are carefully prepared with a mother’s love. Needless to say, I was more than excited to get a taste of a yummy Vietnamese home cooked meal and I am happy to say that we got exactly that.

Their menu is so nice! It makes it easy for Vietnamese cuisine newbies like myself to order and explore their different dishes. The photos were colorful and detailed–it made me hungry!

For our appetizers, we started with GÕI CUON (P220), which are fresh spring rolls. I love how huge the shrimps are, and how delicate and fresh the rolls tasted.

The CHA GIÒ (P240) though became an instant favorite. These fried spring rolls are so unique because you actually wrap the rolls in crunchy lettuce. I never thought of putting the two together, but wow–the crunchiness of the lumpia wrapper combined with the freshness of the lettuce is incredible. I could’ve finished this whole plate, but I had to make room for all the dishes we ordered.

This was an definitely an interesting dish. DĀU HU CHIÊN TRUNG MUÔI (P260) is salted egg tofu, but this version was cleaner and more refined. Of course, I am coming from all the salted egg chips I’ve tried in the past. This wasn’t as salty as those, that’s for sure, but it was pretty good.

MU’C XÀO XÃ ÓT (P325) or lemongrass squid with chili was soft, tender and tasty. I can imagine this would be perfect with rice.

BÁNH XÈO (P350) or crispy crepe was something new for me, but it was so good. I had to listen to the chef’s instructions on how to eat (pay attention so you look like an expert when you order this dish haha): (1) lay out the veggies, (2) add a cut of the Bahn Xeo, (3) top with herbs, (4) roll, dip and enjoy.

This is the dish I am familiar with– the PHO BO (P305) or Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup is all kinds of delicious. And the best part is: you can build up the taste according to how you like it.

This was one of the highlights of the evening: TOM KHO TÀU (P550) or river prawns in roe sauce was just delightful. First off, I have never tried shrimps this huge (and I love shrimp)–it was so meaty and tasty! This is a must-try, if you haven’t already eaten this.

It wouldn’t be an authentic Vietnamese resto without all the drinks you can order: specialty coffee, iced teas and sodas are all available!

   For dessert, we had BÁNH FLAN (P65)! This was especially yummy topped with ice (who knew)!

And lastly, we had the CHÈ DAU 3 MAU (P105) or 3-color sweet soup, which is very similar to our halo-halo.

NHA EM Vietnamese Cuisine is located at the 5th Floor of SM Aura Premier, C5 Road, 26th Street, Taguig, Metro Manila. Make a reservation by contacting this number: +63956 877 6180.

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