Spice Viet Restaurant Hue offers an authentic taste of Vietnam in a contemporary setting with a comprehensive drinks list and attentive service. I’m here tonight to try, in particular, their specialities from Hue and the staff seem delighted to explain the subtleties of Hue cuisine and how it is distinct from other parts of the country.
The wait staff here clearly have a love for their local recipes and quite proudly tell that Hue food is recognized as the tastiest and also least expensive in the country. Benefitting from a location close to forest, sea and river, the area has a wealth and variety of fresh high-quality ingredients. I learn too that locals are rather fond of spice and that chilli and pepper are cardinal components.
Spice Viet Restaurant Hue
Pausing on the food talk, I take a few moments to take in the setting. The design is thoughtful with both indoor and outdoor tables and areas for larger groups as well as plenty of tables for two. Ceramic floor tiles with la lot leaf (wild betel leaf used frequently in local recipes) motif are made by artisans from Bat Trang village (with a history dating back to the 14th century) and the same emblem is mirrored on the menu. Soft curtains create a sense of intimacy and potted plants along with verdant green napkins reflect the upbeat, happy vibe of the space. A table on the small patio gifts views of the adjoining hotel’s pool, which itself is quite pretty lined with plenty of green and soft lighting at night.
Spice Viet Restaurant Hue Menu – Drinks
I ask for guidance with Spice Viet Restaurant Hue’s menu and am happily led to some fresh juices to begin. Beet Detox (VND70 000) is a brilliant start with its vibrant tint given by beetroot, apple, carrot, celery, ginger and lime. It is a tasty beverage and feels the perfect antidote to a day’s travel and the cool winter weather of Hue. Obvious care has been taken in its preparation: the drink is layered with each juice carefully poured atop one another. A garnish of apple and mint completes it.
Spice Viet Restaurant Hue Menu – Food
From the Hue Specialties menu, you can’t go past a tasting platter to get a feel for the region. The Spice Viet Assortment Platter for 2 (VND 210 000 – though please note the photo below shows a portion for one) features five recipes reflecting the flavours of the area.
Cha Tôm Char, Nem Lui Char and Bò Lá Lôt Char provide grilled flavours from both the ocean and the land. The first and second feature shrimp paste and pork patties respectively skewered on lemongrass sticks. They’re extraordinarily moist and benefit from a refreshing herbiness imparted by the lemongrass. Beef wrapped in la lot leaves is the third and most dramatically presented atop a miniature charcoal grill. Crowned with toasted sesame seeds, the petite roll comes out smoking.
Goi Cuôn & Nem Rán keep both healthy and not-so-healthy food preferences pleased with their offering of fresh and deep-fried spring rolls. Sweet and sour fish sauce with garlic and chilli furnishes a good zap and it is a little more pungent than what I’ve found further north or south.
The last of the five, fresh banana blossom salad, complements with loads of seasonal veggies: Nôm Hoa Chuôi. Sesame, shredded carrots and green mango along with basil leaf and peanuts are dressed with a tasty fish sauce.
Apparently, you haven’t eaten in Hue if you haven’t tried Bún Bò Huê (VND 110 000), the local soup speciality. Beef and pork are key components of this noodle soup and the broth has been made by boiling down pork bone with lemongrass. Condiments of fish sauce, lime, a mountain of herbs and yellow and red chillies encourage customization, and, if you do it right, proves to be an addictive blend of spice and herbs. While it might resemble the widely-known pho in appearance, the broth is distinct with a boldness coming from the lemongrass.
Spice Viet Restaurant Hue Menu – Dessert
Do save space for dessert as the Carpaccio Dua, Kem Dua, Sot Caramel Ruou Rum (VND 70 000) is a real delight. Thinly shaved pieces of pineapple are boosted with pineapple jam, coconut ice cream and a fantastic caramel rum sauce.
In warm Vietnamese hospitality, I couldn’t possibly leave without trying another dessert insists my kind waiter. So it is with the Chè Spice Viet (VDN55 000) that my stomach’s limits are tested. In all fairness, it is the namesake of the restaurant so had to be tried, right? Taro, red bean, and green (moon) bean are cooked with sugar. It’s quite a labour intensive exercise as the mix has to be frequently stirred to avoid clumping. While I love the purple tint of the root vegetable, it’s the green bean mixed with tapioca and water chestnuts that takes my fancy.
A duo of beverages provides a yummy conclusion: Royal Tea and Spice Viet Infused Rice Wine (VDN45 000). The tea is made with flowers and fruits and often used as medicine for its health-giving properties. The rice wine is surprisingly smooth and gently sweet making a fine digestive.
Reasons to visit Spice Viet Restaurant Hue: fresh clean environment; Hue specialities in a superbly hygienic setting; staff who are warm, friendly and delighted to share their love of local recipes.
Spice Viet Restaurant Hue
5 Ly Thuong Kiet,
(Next to EMM Hotel Hue)
+84 0234 3823 884
Spice Viet Restaurant Hue opening hours
Daily 11 am – 10 pm