another tasty din at xinh xinh
we'd enjoyed lunch there last week and decided to stop over last night around 6:30. the people here are incredibly nice--we were treated like family and ate like kings.
started with the banh xeo, a big ol' crispy crepe filled with beansprouts, shrimp, and maybe a little chicken? anyway, we eventually figured out we were meant to wrap chunks of this in lettuce with the accompanying basil/cilantro and dip the lot in nuoc cham. mmm.
moved on to brisket/steak pho: the broth was well-seasoned, with a generous amount of meat. i've never been to the dorchester places, but this beat the pants off the other boston pho i've had (i.e. harvard sq. pho pasteur and a different place in chinatown whose name i've forgotten).
the star of the meal, though, was the steamed whole fish. it came out bubbling on a platter w/ burners, topped with a heap of scallion, cilantro, and shredded ginger and, best of all, swimming in a fabulous, oily, sweet, fish-saucy sauce. we picked this sucker clean--i think our waitress said it was some sort of bass--and my DC dumped rice onto the platter at the end so as not to miss a teaspoon of the saucy goodness left on it. this turned out to be more expensive than their other offerings at $18-19, but was worth every penny.
washed it all down with good VN iced coffee (not cloyingly sweet) and lychee juice. under forty before tip, and the amount of food we ate would easily have fed 3. vietnamese is one of my favorite summertime cuisines, and these folks really deserve some business.
Actually I didn't think it was that great when I tried it last week.... the dishes seemed pretty average to me with the exception of that rich beef stew with baguettes to dip into the 5-spice broth. We tried the bun rieu, the banh xiao and a pork and shrimp salad. None of which were v. good. I'd be interested to hear what else is really good...