Vung Tau is a new family-run Vietnamese-style restaurant located in old Point Cadet just a few blocks from Harrah’s Gulf Coast Casino on U.S. 90.
It is easy to get to, and there is plenty of parking.
Based on my visit, Vung Tau ranks near the top of the Vietnamese restaurants we have on the Coast.
The menu boasts more than 100 offerings and has great diversity.
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If you are new to Vietnamese cuisine, you should try pho ($8 to $12), the national dish of Vietnam.
It is made with a clear beef broth that takes hours to make from scratch with beef, rice noodles and plenty garnishes. Newbies often miss the importance of adding the garnishes in combinations that match their own tastes.
Don’t just dump it in, but add a few slices of jalapeno, some bean sprouts, a squeeze of fresh lime and hand-torn basil and cilantro.
If you want to adventure further afield, clay pot pork ($15) is one of the best treatments of pork I know of. The pork is baked in a sweet sauce, in a clay pot that helps to caramalize the end results, and it is served with white steamed rice. This dish can be stunning.
You will note that the menu is divided into basic categories, such as pork, seafood, fried rice, chicken and vegetarian.
It is a logical way to present a diverse menu and makes selecting what you want easier. There is also a Thai selection, although I did not get the chance to sample it, but Thai food is about as good as it gets. Next trip.
My visit was at lunch time and I wanted to keep it simple. I ordered two spring rolls loaded with shrimp, pork, rice noodles and vegetables (just $2 and there are four spring rolls from which to choose).
Spring rolls come with peanut sauce and if you like it just a bit spicy, don’t forget a splash on the fiery garlicky, hot sauce that is on the table. The spring rolls were fresh-made, crisp and perfect.
As a main course I ordered a banh mi, which is a Vietnamese-style sandwich ($4.50). It came on a fresh toasted po-boy loaf, and was loaded with grilled and tender pork, slices of cucumber, crunchy slices of carrot and daikon and jalapeno. Always remember to add a splash of soy sauce, the salty contrast is marvelous.
Vung Tau has a great family charm, the food is really good, the prices are reasonable and service is friendly and not overly rushed. I think you will love this place.
156 Oak Street, Biloxi
8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Sunday