Cơm Mâm Nhà Vàng: You eat cheaper when you go to a real Vietnamese restaurant
This is a problem for most of us in the expat community here in Danang. Vietnamese is a very tough language to learn and while I don't like to admit to my laziness I, in 2 years, have learned very little in the way of the language. This is partially because I am unmotivated, partially because it isn't really necessary to living here, and partially because I don't really feel as though I am going to live here very long and there is no other country where this language would be useful.
However, every now and then a Vietnamese friend offers to take us to a place that we would experience great difficulty in ordering at if it weren't for our "guide."
One such place is Com Mam Nha Vang and honestly, if it wasn't for this guide I am pretty certain that we never would have even found this place, let alone sat down and tried to order at it.
Now the thing with this place, as far as I could tell is that they don't have individual dishes but rather, they just bring a wide variety of items to the table along with some bowls of rice and it is up to you how you want to use them all. I like this style of dining because if you find something you don't like, well, now you are not stuck with it.
They brought us so much stuff that our table was running out of real estate and at the end of it all, I don't even have any idea what I ate. I do know that I left the restaurant with a full belly and that it only cost me around $4. The thing I liked to do was to mix the various soups with the rice and then take a teensy bit of some of the other stuff and see how it works out as far as seasoning is concerned. Your actual bowl is really small, so you are meant to consume small bits of it at once so even if you get it wrong, you aren't wrong for very long.
The building itself appeared to be an old colonial building of sorts but honestly, this city is so "new" that I doubt that is actually the case. It was located down a small alleyway that a car wouldn't even fit down so that was a nice touch as the noise of this city sometimes start to get to me because honestly, this city is LOUD.
We were on a covered balcony on the top floor so other than the occasional motorbike going down the alleyway the only sounds that you could hear up here was the clinking of cutlery on plates and our own conversation. Trust me when I say that this is a very rare experience in Vietnam because even the quiet places tend to have extremely loud music playing for some reason. Maybe the Vietnamese just don't enjoy silence very much. I don't know how any of that works to be honest.
I think that it would be possible for someone to come here without a guide and just point at one of the sections on the menu that features a variety of dishes, which is what our guide ordered anyway. There are only 3 choices and it comes with so many different things you are probably going to get something that you like out of the mix.
As far as I know, places like this don't even exist over in the expat area where we live as the eateries there tend to focus on pleasing the foreign palate so we end up with burgers, pizzas, steaks, and stuff like that. I like all of those things as well but it was nice to try some "real" Vietnamese food for once. I would definitely return to this place in the future and maybe just show them the above picture for reference in order to continue my lazy run at not learning very much of the local language.
If you are feeling adventurous this place tends to be busy and runs out of food daily for both lunch and dinner. Therefore I would recommend that you get there around noon or 6pm or you are very likely to be turned away because they are out of food.
The location is here and if you end up not liking it, there is a KFC across the street on the main road there - which is always a safe backup plan :)