With a year behind them (first anniversary in September 2021), Ngon Vietnamese Kitchen goes into the Year of the Tiger with a louder roar, and it starts with Lunar New Year!
Ngon rings in the Lunar New Year or Tet in Vietnamese with three days of celebrations, from Friday, January 28 through Sunday, January 30, 2022. During those three days, Ngon will add two special Tet dishes to the menu: a special Ha Noi noodle dish and two pan-fried sticky rice cake options (beef ham and a vegan option), and on Sunday, January 30, lion dance performances will take place at 3:30 pm and lucky envelopes will be randomly distributed throughout the day.
For that weekend, Ngon will add a special noodle soup dish from Hanoi called Bun Thang. This noodle soup is from Hanoi and is typically made from assembling all the leftover food at the end of the Lunar New Year celebration, but today, it’s become a beautiful dish served in Hanoi.
Bun Thang is rice vermicelli noodles in a chicken broth with dried shrimp floss, shredded chicken, Vietnamese ham (cha lua), thinly fried egg, pickled daikon, shiitake mushrooms, and Chinese sausage (lap xuong). It’s garnished with a lime/lemon wedge, green onions, Vietnamese coriander (rau ram), fried shallots, and red chili peppers. To enhance the flavor of the broth, add a bit of fermented shrimp paste! Although shrimp paste has a strong pungent smell on its own, when added into the broth the smell is no longer noticeable and it gives the broth a nice earthy aroma.
The second menu item is a must-have dish for Lunar New Year in Vietnam: a Vietnamese pan-fried sticky rice cake or Banh Chung Chien, made with sticky rice, split mung bean, beef ham (instead of pork belly, traditionally), freshly cracked black pepper. A vegan option is also available. The rice cake is wrapped in banana leaves and boiled which gives it its green color.
The restaurant will be decorated with traditional Vietnamese red and gold lanterns, yellow and pink blossoms from owner Carol Nguyen’s home and staff will wear traditional garbs, like the Vietnamese ao dai or tunics.
The Tiger is the third year of the 12-year cycle of Chinese zodiac signs. People born in the Year of the Tiger were born in 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022.