Fascinated Western guest with a traditional dish from Central Highlands, states it as “unique in Vietnam”

This dish is renowned for its delightful flavor and unique dining experience.

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Vietnam’s diverse and rich culinary scene, particularly its street food and local dishes, is one of the factors that attracts foreign tourists. Many visitors from different countries have shared that in Vietnam, they find unique dishes that they can’t find anywhere else. These dishes not only have delicious flavors but also have unique ways of eating.

One example of such a dish is Ban Me wet cake, also known as stacked wet cake. True to its name, this dish originally comes from and is a specialty of Buon Me Thuot, a region in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. It is called stacked cake because of how it is served and the way diners handle the dish after eating.

A specialty dish from the Central Highlands – Ban Me wet cake with its special serving and eating style, attracting many tourists (Photo: Banh uot Ban Me)

Specifically, the wet cake is made from sticky rice flour mixed with wheat flour or cornstarch, with a sprinkle of dried shallots on top. It is spread thin on a stove to form a thin layer like rice paper. When it reaches the diners’ table, each wet cake is placed on a different plate. They are stacked on a multi-tiered stainless steel tray, usually 10 tiers with 10 plates. After finishing each wet cake, diners will stack the used plates on top of each other.

From the moment they stepped into the wet cake shop, Max and his foreign friend were fascinated by the sight of the stacked plates on the diners’ tables. Because of this unique way of eating, many people have a fun game when enjoying Ban Me wet cake. They compete with their companions to see who can eat more wet cakes and stack more plates.

Each stack of wet cakes is placed in a separate tray and brought to the diners’ table (Photo: Lemon8)

After finishing, diners will stack the used plates on top of each other. The higher the plate stack, the more fun it becomes (Photo: Dia diem an ngon)

According to the seller at the place where Max and his friend ate Ban Me wet cake, on average, each diner ate around 40-60 wet cakes just for fun. This alone proves the appeal of this dish, not only to foreign diners but also to local diners. With its unique and special way of eating, Ban Me wet cake is even called the “most plate-consuming dish in Vietnam”.

Diverse dipping sauces and side dishes

Aside from the soft white wet cake, the Central Highlands specialty includes various dipping sauces and side dishes. For the sauces, there are 4 basic types: fermented shrimp sauce, sweet and sour fish sauce, soybean paste, and pickled apricots. The fillings to be rolled with the wet cake and enjoyed include grilled pork skewers, grilled meat, sour sausage, pork sausage, bean sprouts, shredded mango, cucumber, basil leaves, pickled vegetables…

When eating, diners can choose the sauce or filling they prefer. The wet cake is priced at only 2,000 VND per piece, and the fillings are priced per plate, around 15,000 – 25,000 VND per plate.

With a variety of meat, vegetables, and sour ingredients that balance the flavors, diners can eat a lot without getting tired of the wet cake. Plus, with an affordable price, each diner can eat many wet cakes in just one visit.

Diners can choose their preferred condiments and fillings to roll and enjoy together (Photo: Minh Tu)

When trying Ban Me wet cake with fermented shrimp sauce, Max found it extremely enjoyable. He commented that the condiments like herbs or garlic were all fragrant, creating a delicious and unique flavor for the dish: “I usually put the garlic at the beginning of the roll. The shrimp sauce with garlic creates a very delicious flavor”, Max said. Max admitted that he liked eating wet cake with fermented shrimp sauce the most, and his friend agreed with him.

At the end of the meal, the two foreign guests ate 30 plates of wet cake and were both very satisfied with their experience that day. “This is what I love about Vietnam. We can find many new dishes and new ways of eating. It’s still Vietnamese food, but just with a slightly different way of eating, which makes the dish much more unique”, Max’s friend shared.

The two foreign guests enjoying Vietnamese food (Photo: Max McFarlin)

There are many dishes like that in Vietnam. They contribute to creating a diverse culinary landscape and leave a lasting impression on foreign tourists. Not only in Buon Me Thuot, Ban Me wet cake can now be found in many other provinces and cities across the country. For example, in the video, Max and his friend ate it in Ho Chi Minh City, as well as in Khanh Hoa, Lam Dong, Ba Ria – Vung Tau, or Da Nang, where visitors can find and try this unique dish. And let’s see if they can eat how many plates.

SOURCEcafef
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