I have devoured many different foods all over Vietnam, from Hanoi all the way to Phú Quốc and everywhere in between (that's over 15 major cities) over the course of 7 months. What I am about to tell you is the most delicious of the foods that I have ever eaten (not only in Vietnam but in my entire life). And it all came down to this little restaurant shop in the former imperial city of Huế, Vietnam.
Allow me to tell you a little about Huế. I spent more than 2 months here. Initially, I thought I would have stayed for 2 days. But this wondering Trini just could not get enough of the Huế food....so I stayed for 2 months...just to eat. And I gained 5 pounds in the process.
I am not entirely sure why, but the food in Huế taste “different”. And by “different” I mean mind blowing! Have you ever put something in your mouth and then there is a nuclear explosion of different tastes? It's a pretty orgasmic feeling. Better keep tissue and some water nearby, because your saliva glands are going to need it. You will probably become dehydrated by eating or just the thought of eating once you taste Huế's food. As I understand it, past emperors and the King lived in Huế. Consequently, they demanded variety in wives...and food. And they got both. Huế has the best of both worlds.
As Anthony Bourdain righteously said about his many trips to Huế:
“This is the way so many great meals in my life have been enjoyed: sitting in the street, eating something out of a bowl that I'm not exactly sure what it is, scooters going by. It's so delicious, I feel like an animal."
And by animal, I think he meant a hungry ass gorilla. Because that is how I look when presented with a plate of Huế's food.
Let me get right into it. On my first trip to Vietnam, I accidentally found this restaurant in Huế. I ate many times (almost everyday) here. I continuously dreamt about this place for years. Dare I say, I had wet dreams about this restaurant. (You pervert, I meant I woke up and my mouth was watering). I decided to travel 10,000 km again to return to this restaurant because I could not find this taste anywhere else....believe me, I have looked. On my last visit to this restaurant, I was coming from Da Nang via train. From the train station in Huế, it's about a 15 mins walk to the restaurant. I did this walk in the pouring rain. Ah, the lengths I will go through for this taste.
The meal consisted of roasted duck, sticky rice and some delicious green stuff on a plate. The sauce is some next level shit. There is no other place you can find this unique sauce except right in this restaurant. (I have asked around). I am not exactly sure of all the ingredients of the sauce, but it seems to have peanuts, beans, garlic and some spices perhaps.
A measly 75,000 VND (USD$3.23) will get you all of the above in the pic, including the beer (as of July 2018).
The name of the restaurant is Cháo Vịt Thuận.
Address: 94 Bùi Thị Xuân, Phường Đúc, Thành phố Huế, Thừa Thiên Huế, Vietnam
Owner: Ms Thuận.
Year opened: 1993 (plus or minus a year). That's over 25 years!
Forget Tripadvisor. You are not going to find this restaurant on there (at least I didn't find it before writing this article – July 2018). It's 100% local and not found by tourists at all. It's not fancy by any means but who cares...if you want fancy go to a 5 star restaurant and pay the higher price for mediocre food. No one speaks English...this shop is as local as it gets. Around holidays in Vietnam (like Tết Holiday), this place can dish out around 1000 whole ducks so it can get quite busy with locals.
Now you know my secret restaurant for the best roast duck in Huế (or Vietnam for that matter). Do visit this place if you ever get a chance. You will not regret it.
The best food in Vietnam can be found in Hue.