A popular eatery in Saigon serves hearty bowls of crab soup along with crab sticks, boiled quail eggs, century eggs, and pork brains.
People passing by the Do Thanh Residence in Saigon’s District 3 during lunch time will be struck by the crowds gathered around the crab soup stall.
Due to the limited space there to eat, most customers order takeout though some do eat after parking their motorbikes a few houses away.
The stall is renowned for providing a large serving at a reasonable price of VND10,000-35,000 ($0.4-1.5), and this has steadily attracted patrons for many years.
Made from pig-bone broth, the soup has a natural flavor and sweetness, which is enhanced by rice flour, whipped eggs and hijiki seaweed, an ingredient used in Chinese cuisine.
A standard bowl of crab soup. Photo by Bungbuanno.
There are five types of toppings: boiled quail eggs, pig brains, crab sticks, crab meats, and century eggs. Each brings a slightly different twist to the soup, with the pork brain being the most popular topping due to the limited servings each day.
Customers usually add ground black pepper, chilly paste, spring onion, parsley, and a touch of soy sauce, which bring in a slew of other flavors.
The stall is open on weekdays from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m, with many customers being students from nearby schools and their parents. Visiting the stall early is recommended to avoid squeezing into a crowd.
Customers can order various toppings. Photo by Phucvo98.