Across the street from Ben Thanh market, wedged in between the shopping stalls and touristy pho and frozen yogurt is the bun rieu lady. She sells bun rieu, soda, coffee and sim cards.
She shrouds her face in mystery, but when I tried my hand at ordering two bowls of my favorite ever type of soup, I could see her eyes crinkle with amusement. I'm glad my English accented Vietnamese consistently entertains everyone I encounter.
Her setup is simple, two steel pots simmering hot broth and hot water for noodles. One small table and two stools to sit.
The rest of her fixings are tucked away in the alley, where she rummages around for the finishing touches.
And out emerges a beautiful bowl of bun rieu, a golden seafood-laced broth and rice noodles with a variety of seafood-paste toppings. The proteins are a bit of an acquired taste, but the broth is beautiful and clean.
The two bowls cost us maybe a dollar and a half and warmed our bellies so! The old woman is ultra-cute also.
At night, we'd cool off with visits to Fanny's, a late-night dessert type place dishing creamy ice creams in inventive ways. I mean, just look at that adorable cyclo ice cream with the orange slice wheels or the banana boat sundae! There are dozens of more cuteness within the elaborate menu.
We went with the chocolate fondue for two featuring twelve perfect scoops of ice cream (you can pick any flavors from their entire menu), fresh fruits and crisp little wafer cookies.
The ice cream flavors range from traditional to eclectic: and include avocado, ginger, young rice, cinnamon, straciatella and others.
The sorbets all sound amazing and taste fresh - flavors include black currant, soursop, passionfruit and mango.
It was easy to see why you'd name a place so, because the ice cream goes straight to your fanny, and there ain't nothin' you can do about that but enjoy every spoonful.