As Vietnam’s cities develop, there are plenty of restaurants that offer up dishes at international (read: expensive) prices. While Vietnamese food is generally considered cheap, there are a few notable exceptions:
Đông Tảo Chicken
Famous for its tasty meat and giant legs, Đông Tảo chicken can reach up to VND1 million per kilogram. However, buyers should be aware that these are not a special, magical breed, but rather old farm-raised chickens.
The 9-spur chicken is famous for its appearance in the legend of Sơn Tinh-Thủy Tinh. Few realize that it is a common name for the multi-spur chicken species which is usually born with at least 3 “spurs” on each leg. This chicken will set you back VND600,000 to VND1 million per kilogram.
Anh Vũ Fish
The anh vũ fish is a kind of carp that is believed to transform into a dragon according to some Asian legends. Their mouths, which some say resemble those of a dragon, are oddly shaped due to its diet of seaweed and moss which requires it to hold tightly onto rocks as it feeds. Once respected for their legendary reputation, the species is now on the brink of extinction. A 2kg fish can be priced at least VND1.6 million.
Sá sùngs, also known as peanut worms, are usually 15cm in length. Sá sùng are not only good for your health, often used in traditional medicines, but are also believed to act as a natural Viagra.
Ngán is similar to a clam, but can cost 10 times more. Apart from the many delicious dishes made from ngán, people also use them to make wine, which is super hardcore as they open the live sea creature, scramble and blend it with Vietnamese rice wine. The blood of ngán turns the wine pink.
Known for it’s high nutritional value, a 500g sâm cầm bird (or the Eurasian coot in English) can go for VND900,000. The species used to make Hanoi’s West Lake their home during winter migrations before being over exploited.
Have you tried any of these deliciously pricey dishes?