Sunday, 12/06/2022 08:10

Ninh Bình's delightful local eatery

Grilled goat meat on a hot plate, the restaurant's signature dish. — VNS Photo Bảo Ngọc

Family Restaurant, about 100 metres from the local pier, is lauded by travellers for its welcoming staff and reasonable prices, Bảo Ngọc reports.

Every year, the beginning of June marks the start of the ripe rice season in Tam Cốc of Ninh Hải Commune, Hoa Lư District, Ninh Bình Province.

In celebration of the event, tourists frequently take boat rides down the Ngô Đồng River, where they may take in the clean air, inhale the aroma of ripe rice, and marvel at the breathtaking scenery of the three Tam Cốc caves.

Many local restaurants and cafes can be found in the area surrounding the Tam Cốc wharf, providing visitors with a place to rest and enjoy delicacies from the region.

Family Restaurant, about 100 metres away from the pier, is lauded by many travellers for its welcoming staff and reasonable prices.

Crispy rice, goat meat grill, and duck roast are just some of the traditional Ninh Bình delicacies served at this, as the name suggests, family-run restaurant.

Roasted duck. — VNS Photo Bảo Ngọc

This plain-looking site comprises little more than a scattering of minuscule trees, brown brick walls, and wooden tables and chairs. This location's vastness is a plus for many vacationers, particularly during the hotter summer months, when they would rather avoid entering a busy restaurant altogether.

As for appetiser, we decided to go with the owner's recommendation and order some crispy rice, a well-known dish unique to Ninh Binh.

This mouthwatering dish is made up of chunks of rice that have been fried until they are crispy and is accompanied by a rich sauce made from goat meat. In contrast to its relatively uncomplicated appearance, the dish offers a unique blend of the crunchiness of the rice and the rich flavour of the sauce. Both elements contribute to the dish's overall appeal.

The goat meat that is roasted and served on a hot metal plate here is, without a doubt, the restaurant's crowning achievement. On a hot, sizzling plate, you'll find tender slices of goat meat that have been seasoned with various spices and herbs. This one-of-a-kind meal has a highly gratifying flavour, but it keeps the meat's natural freshness.

Residents of Ninh Bình believe that the province's topography, which features several rocky areas, makes it an ideal spot to breed goats. As a result, Ninh Bình is well-known for goat meat dishes.

They also claim that the goat meat here is more juicy, fresh, and tender than the meat found elsewhere in the country because the goats here are grown on rocky slopes rather than hills.

Rare goat meat with lime juice is another delicacy that you have to try if you're a lover of rolls. It is common to accompany this meal with unripe bananas, carambola, and fig leaves. However, to cater to the preferences of foreign guests, the restaurant has altered the original recipe and now serves it with pineapple, lettuce, and cucumber.

Rare goat meat with lime juice served with a variety of aromatic herbs. — VNS Photo Bảo Ngọc

Along with the meal itself, you will also receive a bowl of soya sauce and some rice papers.

To fully appreciate the meal's fresh and gently sweet and sour flavour, guests should roll the rare goat meat and aromatic herbs in rice paper before dipping them in the soya sauce.

In addition, the restaurant also offers a selection of other dishes, including hot pot, fried rice, and a variety of alternatives, such as chicken, duck, and beef. These servings are plentiful and ideal for sharing if you are travelling with a large group. 

The prices for meat and salad meals range from VNĐ45,000 to 200,000 (US$2 to 9), while hot pot dishes range from VNĐ350,000 to 450,000, a great deal considering the generous servings.

Family is a low-key restaurant with reasonable prices, ideal for a sunny afternoon in Ninh Binh. It will not disappoint anyone searching for a great location with ample space and authentic local cuisine. VNS

Family Restaurant

Address: Tam Cốc, Ninh Hải Commune, Hoa Lư District, Ninh Bình Province

Tel:  091 419 66 10

Hours: 8.30am to 10.30pm

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