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Foodspotting

Warm the cockles of your heart this winter with a hearty, steamy, authentic, bowl of Vietnamese noodle soup.

An Ngon

An Ngon certainly lives up to its name, meaning “it’s delicious” in Vietnamese. A long-time fixture in Osaka’s South East Asian cuisine scene, it first opened its doors 1998. The cozy restaurant that seats around 50 is adorned with traditional masks and other Vietnamese decorations and boasts an extensive menu with all the classics like fresh spring rolls with either shrimp or pork, and pho (rice noodle soup) with either beef, chicken, or just vegetables. If you’re looking to recapture an epicurean memory from a trip to Vietnam where you had a tasty dish that you can’t remember the name of, An Ngon has a full English menu with pictures to help guide you. A standout dish is món bún: rice vermicelli (thin rice noodles) and grilled pork balls in a savory broth with a side of fried spring rolls and adorned with fresh herbs galore, all for under ¥1,000. Course menus in this stylish and comfortable space are around the ¥3,000–¥4,000 mark and private functions can be booked for groups of 20 to 50.

• Open: Lunch 11:30am~5pm; Dinner 5pm~11pm
• Price Range: ¥980–¥5,500
• Access: Yotsubashi Subway Stn, 5-min walk
• Tel: 06-6282-4567
• Tabelog: Angon (アンゴン)

Rive Gauche

If it’s classy Vietnamese you’re after, Rive Gauche is the closest thing to Vietnamese fine dining in Osaka. Nestled in a white stone building in the Yodoyabashi business district of Osaka, entering this comfortable and spacious restaurant feels like being transported to somewhere in Europe. The A and B course sets on the dinner menu come highly recommended at ¥3,800 or ¥4,500 per person respectively. If you order course A, you’ll be treated to fresh and deep-fried spring rolls, steamed chicken with sour sauce, the Vietnamese version of okonomiyaki called bánh xèo, sauteed tamarind prawns, roasted chicken or grilled pork, a steaming bowl of pho, and finally a Vietnamese coffee or lotus tea. The tasty Vietnamese pancake with nuoc cham sauce is to be eaten with your hands wrapped in lettuce leaves, but it comes with handy picture instructions and the friendly staff are more than happy to demonstrate. If you get the slightly pricier B course set, ready yourself for all the Course A items plus some delicious fried soft shell crab, a seafood or mincemeat soup, and a Vietnamese dessert to finish off.

• Open: Lunch 11:30am~3pm; Dinner 5:30pm~10:30pm
• Price Range: ¥980–¥5,500
• Access: Yodoyabashi Subway Stn, 1-min walk
• Tel: 06-6202-2202
• Gurunavi: RIVE GAUCHE

BIA HO’I

Bia Ho’i is the kind of restaurant where you are served half a mangosteen in your drink. Their special tropical cocktails transport you straight to a South East Asian beach. The food menu at this restaurant has every Vietnamese dish you could possibly think of plus a host of others you’ve probably never heard of before. Along with the authentic taste of the dishes, this huge range of options might explain why so many customers from Vietnam dine here. If you’re having trouble deciding from the plethora of choices, go for a side of fresh or fried spring rolls and order the yellow coconut chicken curry which cooked to perfection with chunks of potato and carrot. The sauteed shrimp in a fried-egg and chili sauce is another delicious choice. Be sure to leave room for dessert where you can choose from an array of delectable puddings and flans with coconut and vanilla ice cream, or Vietnamese coffee with tapioca and coffee jelly over vanilla ice cream, or even fried banana in cinnamon sugar. And these are just scratching the surface.
• Price Range: ¥980–¥5,500
• Access: Umeda Stn, 2-min walk; Osaka Stn, 10-min walk
• Tel: 06-6292-2345
anngon.com/biahoi

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