Mr The Anh Nguyen, the owner and also the chef of Le Cyclo, interprets a few traditional Vietnamese dishes using seasonal ingredients, fresh herbs, spices and aromatics. All his creations are served with French elegance.
We were a big group of 18 people, so we made reservations in advance and requested several traditional Vietnamese dishes not featured on the standard menu. When people think of Vietnamese cuisine, what comes to mind is “Goi Cuôn” – fresh summer rolls that are ubiquitous in Vietnam. So it makes sense that our dinner starts off with them. Another popular appetizer is “Bò lá lôt” – lightly spiced minced beef rolls wrapped with wild betel leaves and grilled to perfection. “Banh khot” are quintessential appetizers – mini pancakes made with rice flour, minced shrimps and spring onions, golden, crispy and savory. “Chao Tôm” is a traditional appetizer where seasoned shrimp paste is moulded around a sugarcane skewer.
Our main dishes are typical home-cooked dishes shared family-style, served with white jasmine rice. We had tasty “Bap Cai Cuôn thit ga-tom Hap Nước Mắm Gung”, which was basically steamed chicken-and-prawn roulade in a fresh ginger-Nước Mắm sauce; “Cá Kho Tô” – considered as comfort food by many Vietnamese, the fish develops a sweet-savory gooeyness from the sugar and fish sauce over the course of a long braise; simple but tasty chicken omelette; and “Rau Muong” stir-fried with garlic – a staple green veggie in Vietnam (if Vietnam declared a national vegetable, it’d probably be this).
Due to its colorful history marked with several occupations, colonization period and foreign influence, Vietnam is a real melting pot of various culinary traditions. From a complicated Chinese to a delicate Japanese, a bit over-spiced Thai, highly distinctive Cambodian, beautiful Indian and super gastronomic French – we are happy to report our tastebuds went on a delicious culinary adventure to Le Cyclo!
Le Cyclo, Wormser Straße 23, 67346 Speyer
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