18-year-old restaurant serves "cheapest rice porridge in Saigon"

Customers can have a bowl full of rice porridge (congee) for only VND 1,000 at a restaurant voted by many Saigonese as one of the cheapest restaurants in the southern city
May 29, 2021 | 23:49
Recipe: Green bean clam porridge - delicious and nutritious Recipe: Green bean clam porridge - delicious and nutritious
Lai Vung: Delicious traditional fermented pork roll (nem chua) dishes Lai Vung: Delicious traditional fermented pork roll (nem chua) dishes
In photo: 10-year traditional meals of Vietnamese expat in Africa In photo: 10-year traditional meals of Vietnamese expat in Africa
Le Cong Minh (65 year olds, the owner of the restaurant), said they started their business back in 2003, and has been in operation for 18 years.  (Photo: Thanh Nien)
Le Cong Minh started the business back in 2003. (Photo: Thanh Nien)

Cheapest congee restaurant in Saigon

“Ve day em” restaurant is located inside an alley at on Phan Van Khoe Street of District 6, Ho Chi Minh City. Le Cong Minh, 65, opened the restaurant 18 years ago.

The small and petit congee restaurant hidden in an alley in District 6. Photo: Anh Le
The small acongee restaurant is hidden in an alley in District 6. Photo: Anh Le

The previous owner of the restaurant was Minh’s mother, but she had to close the business due to her old age and poor health. Years later, Minh’s wife, Nguyen Thi Kim Phuong, 52, reopened it and continued carrying on the family business.

Explaining the reason why the restaurant sells congee at such cheap price, Minh said it because he did not have to rent space, and cooks using a charcoal stove to save the money.

“In the old days, you could have a bowl of congee with 500 dong. It was first made for working people, serving cheap and affordable meals. We kept that price for a long time, and did not want to change it suddenly. Later when the VND 500 was no longer used, we changed the price to 1,000,” Minh said.

Everyday, Minh and his wife serve the customers about four small pots of congee (about 4kg of rice). Minh said even though they sell each bowls with a cheap price, his restaurant is always crowded with guests. “Even though we do not make a huge profit, we save up everyday, and receive a lot of positive reviews,” he said.

A bow of congee only costs VND 1,000 (Photo: Thanh Nien)
A bow of congee only costs VND 1,000 (Photo: Thanh Nien)

A bowl with only congee will cost VND 1,000. If you request side dishes, the price will range roughly from VND 3,000 to10,000 . Even though the menu is not as diverse as other restaurants, you will not be able to find anywhere cheaper.

Photo: Thanh Nien
Photo: Thanh Nien

When asked about the name of the restaurant, Minh shook his head with a laugh and said he took that name because it sounded good. “I chose the name, and my wife just accepted it,” he said.

Minh said his congee is nothing special in terms of taste or how it was cooked. The side dishes for diners to eat with the congee include radish, caramelised shrimp and pork dip, salted duck egg, pork meat and stewed goby fish.

The congee must be cooked for one hour to be pureed. There is no flour added because it will make the congee lose it sweet, delicious taste.

A little boy with his mother, who are familiar guests at the restaurant. (Photo: Thanh Nien)
A little boy with his mother, who are regulars at the restaurant. (Photo: Thanh Nien)

The restaurant is crowded every afternoon. Pham Thi My Van, 43, from District 6, highly recommendeds it. “The food is delicious, and I have been eating here for more than 10 years,” she said.

Phung Ai Linh, 32, another regular from District 6, said she eats here every day. “The congee is easy to eat, and my favourite dishes to come with the congee is salted duck and salted shredded pork. I also love the dried squid and grilled fish, and all the dishes only cost about VND 20,000 to 30,000,” she said.

Famous traditional Khmer people's shrimp cake dishes in the delta Famous traditional Khmer people's shrimp cake dishes in the delta

One of the famous Khmer people's traditional and delicious plates, Banh cong or Vietnamese fried shrimp cakes, is loved by its crispy taste and simple ...

Recipe: Vietnamese Milk Cheese Jelly Sweet Soup Dessert (Chè Khúc Bạch) Recipe: Vietnamese Milk Cheese Jelly Sweet Soup Dessert (Chè Khúc Bạch)

Milk Cheese Jelly Sweet Soup ("Chè Khúc Bạch") has become very popular in early summers of Vietnam.

Recipe: Braised beef with sugarcane molasses – a specialty of Nghe An with video Recipe: Braised beef with sugarcane molasses – a specialty of Nghe An with video

The dish is like the combination of of the four tastes spicy, sweet, sour and salty.

Chau Polly

Insider

Non-governmental Organizations Join Hands to Support Children Orphaned by COVID-19 Viet's Home

Non-governmental Organizations Join Hands to Support Children Orphaned by COVID-19

Three non-governmental organizations in Vietnam have been working together to help ease the pains that children orphaned by the pandemic are suffering
08:34 | 27/09/2021
Vietnam Considers Mutual Recognition of Vaccine Passports with Certain Countries National

Vietnam Considers Mutual Recognition of Vaccine Passports with Certain Countries

Vietnam is considering mutual recognition of vaccine passports with countries in Southeast Asia, China, Japan, South Korea, the EU and the US.
08:31 | 27/09/2021
No FDI Enterprises Move Investments Out of Vietnam Economy

No FDI Enterprises Move Investments Out of Vietnam

No enterprises have moved their investment out of Vietnam due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
08:25 | 27/09/2021
Phiên bản di động