Name: Scallops and Razor ClamsTime of Day: Afternoon and evening
Location: Quite a few places, this was next to the bia hoi joint on Bui Vien St (in the backpacker district)
Cost: 20,000 dong each plate (so next to nothing, 70p maybe)
The Rest: I'd seen them dragged from the ocean in obscene number so it was no surprise to see them gracing the pavements of Saigon. Even used to Nam prices I was pleasantly surprised by the cheapness though, we're talking less than 10p a scallop or razor clam. After near 7 months away I'm used to street eating but still the sight of raw seafood sat in 30 deg heat does scare me a bit. I'm still standing though and they were damn tasty. Plus if they made people ill they'd soon lose custom.For the second time this trip the scallops came with peanut and spring onion with the cooking coming from a grill. They're not flavours that I'd immeditaely think of with the king of seafoods but it worked nicely, the salty peanuts seasoning and adding texture and the onion's sweetness complementing that of the scallops.
The razor clams were more heavily flavoured, but then they have more flavour to start with so can stand up to things a bit more. These heavy flavourings were a mass of garlic, a little chili and then a dipping sauce of salt, pepper and chili with a quarter of lime to moisten. This dip - sometimes just salt and black pepper with lime - hadn't been encountered by me before this trip but I've seen it a few times now. It works wonders, both with seafood and with steak - especially barbecued - so it's definitely one I'll be repeating at home. The razor clams were firm and sweet and I found all of them edible, sometimes with bigger razor clams the black sack (stomach I guess) has been to gritty but here it went down fine.
Great street food at a great price. What makes it even better is you can order from the stall and have it delivered to your table in the bar next door ready to be washed down with 10,000 dong (30p) a big bottle beer.