Bong Lai, Nice

10 Jan

Forget your Chinese takeaways, France’s equivalent is Vietnamese. Due to the influx of Vietnamese immigrants in the late 70’s, Vietnamese restaurants are in abundance in most French towns. For me, this is a welcome difference to the greasiness and over-friedness of most Chinese food I often come across in the UK today. Similar to Thai food, good Vietnamese cuisine is full of the fresh flavours of lime, coriander and chiliImage  (I want to go back to Thailand sooooo badly!) and is one of the most appetising looking food out there.

Ollie and I visited Bong Lai, Trip Advisor’s top-rated Vietnamese restaurant in Nice the day we got back from our Christmas holidays (8pm on a Sunday night is not a time when France’s shops deem they should be open.) We had a great meal. Our waitress informed us that her restaurant had been in their family for 3 generations. Huge bowls of tasty, fresh looking food were presented to us. Our enthusiastic waitress even brought us a mango and coconut dessert on the house that she proudly presented to us as being unique to the Bong Lai!

So. From a menu of starters, soups, fish and meat. I choose zesty fish spring rolls, also filled with skinny rice noodles and coriander which came with a peanut and chilli dipping sauce. Ollie had a humongous bowl of Pho Bo, Vietnam’s most famous soup of beef and giant rice noodles in a broth of coriander, chilli, cinnamon, ginger and radish. If you have never had Vietnamese food before, try a bowl of Pho Bo, you will be converted! For our second course, I had a Mang Cua, a soup of asparagus, crabmeat and prawns flavoured with coriander, whilst Ollie had Bun Thit Nuong, pork fried with garlic, shallots, lemongrass, honey and fish sauce served on a bed of fresh rice noodles mixed with peanuts and bean sprouts. His plate came with a dipping sauce of chilli and lime.Image
I have had root ginger sitting in my fruit bowl for months. I should really get it out and try and cook something Vietnamese inspired!

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One Response to “Bong Lai, Nice”

  1. catherine thomas January 10, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    I am salivating just reading about this food. Off to middle east and then Thailand this week so hope to eat some great dishes.

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