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A Food Trip Into Da Lat's Cuisine: Top 5 Dishes To Try at Night

Huy Pham - Aug 06, 2019

Going back to the city at night after a long day of sightseeing, you may ask yourself what to eat and where to find. This article will take you to the top 5 dishes to try at night in Dalat that you must try and it will not disappoint you. Apart from experiencing by eye, food will connect you with the true spirit of this dreamy land. 

Bánh mì xíu mại (Vietnamese shumai soup served with baguette)

You cannot leave Dalat without trying Vietnamese shumai that served in a small bowl and you can eat with baguette by dipping into soup. Shumai is kind of meatball instead of wrapping in pastry as Chinese dish that you often see.

The bowl is decorated with annatto oil and coriander on top. Little meatballs dive in hot soup which is made by slow-cooked bones therefore the soup is naturally sweet. The tender pork meatballs are flavorful and have delicious crunch from the jicama.

Cooked in a homemade tomato sauce, these hearty meatballs are absolutely mouth-watering. Super-versatile, the meatballs can be enjoyed anytime in daytime or even for late dinner as you wish. Putting some chillies and pickles will make the dish taste even better.

It is not hard to find typical Vietnamese shumai in Dalat. You can have it in Anh Sang hamlet or Tran Nhat Nhuat - Hoang Dieu fork. Price is around 20,000-30,000 VNĐ/portion. 

banh-mi-xi-muoi
baguette-with-meat-balls-and-orange-sauce

Bánh Căn 

Bánh căn is a type of savoury mini pancake which is very popular in the South Central region of Vietnam, especially in Khanh Hoa and Binh Thuan. However Bánh căn in Dalat is even more famous due to unique dipping sauce.

Bánh căn is a similar shape to bánh khọt, but it is made quite differently. While Bánh khọt is made by fried rice flour, bánh căn is made from grilled rice flour. In order to make bánh căn, you need to have a special type of mould which has holes to set the shape of these pancakes.

Because the pancakes are small, they are counted in pairs rather than as single cakes. In the middle, they can be given a quick brush of onion oil and add quail eggs or seafood on top. Bánh căn is rarely served with vegetables, but with green mango, onion and cucumbers.

The sauce is made from fish sauce mixed with garlic and chilli., Bánh căn is dipped fully into the sauce to eat. Bánh căn through time has spread to many regions of Vietnam. Originally made by Cham people, the technique has been developed to make the dish more creative and unique.

Bánh căn can be found in Tang Bat Ho street or Nha Chung street. Price is 35,000 VNĐ/5 pairs (price can be different depending on where you eat). 

can-pancake-da-lat

banh-can-da-lat

Lẩu gà lá é (Chicken with é leaves hot pot)

Lau ga la e Da Lat is the famous specialty of the mountainous city. La e is as same as basil and holy basil so it has a sour and acrid taste. It is used for the hotpot to create a special sourness flavor for this dish. There is nothing better than having chicken hot pot when the sun goes down.

The sourness will wake all your senses and you cannot stop eating until you finish the last drop. E leaf is kind of medical remedy for diseases such as cold. The combination of chicken and e leaves was created year by year but it never tastes less delicious as it should be.

Chicken is neither too soft nor tough. The meat is tender enough and sweet to balance the sourness from e leaves. The hot pot can eat together with rice or egg noodles. Although it is a well-known dish, in Da Lat, there are not many eateries selling this dish.

Among them, the most 2 famous ones are Tao Ngo and 668 eateries. Average price is 200,000-300,000 VND/pot. 

la-e-hot-pot

lau-ga-la-e-da-lat

Bánh tráng nướng (grilled rice paper)

Banh trang nuong is one of the most popular street food in Dalat. It is known as Vietnamese pizza due to its special taste and affordable price. Banh trang nuong is a grilled rice paper with a variety of toppings.

Banh trang nuong is grilled on charcoal with low heat and quail egg is covered on top with ground pork, sausages, onions and dried shrimp crips. You can add more toppings or custom your own banh trang nuong. To find this tasty snack, you can walk around Dalat night market and notice a lady with small charcoal grill. Watching her mixing toppings and grilling rice paper is a free cooking masterclass for yourself.

The price is quite cheap, which is just around 10,000 VND but it warms up your stomach. 

grilled-paper-da-lat
grilled-rice-papers-da-lat

Avocado ice-cream

Does it sound crazy to eat ice-cream under cold night? Well it might but it is worth a try. The ice-cream is actually coconut flavor. Avocado is grinded with condensed milk to create thick and creamy smoothie.

The ice-cream is put on top of avocado cream with dried coconut and roasted peanuts and you can mix it together or eat separately. Having ice-cream after big meal is always a great choice so to end your night.

You can find few shops selling this ice-cream but Thanh Thao and Nari in Nguyen Van Troi street are the most recommended shops. Price is around 20,000-30,000 VND. 

da-lat-avocado-ice-cream

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