With The Bale Well “menu” written on the napkin, it only informs you of what you’re being given. No choices necessary! When all the various plates of amazingness are delivered to your facehole, you drool while the lovely ladies there show you how to put them all together.
Bale Well (Gieng Ba Le) food shop off Tran Hung Dao Street in Hoi An ancient town is where tourists can find some tasty grilled and fried dishes besides some local specialties like cao lau (long yellow noodles served with roast pork, vegetables and some bouillon), mi Quang(Quang Nam-style noodles) and com ga (chicken rice).
The name of the shop originates from the famous well located a few meters away. Local people take water from the well to make the well-known cao lau. Bale Well offers diners a set of four dishes – nem lui (grilled pork satay), thit nuong (grilled pork), banh xeo(Vietnamese pancake) and ram cuon (spring-roll) served with fresh vegetables from Tra Que village, fermented vegetables and a special soybean sauce at the price of VND90,000.
Gourmets may not be able to resist the delicious smell and the bright-colored food, from green vegetables to yellow banh xeo and dark brown of a roasting-jack of grilled pork.
Ram cuon from the Central region is cooked in a different way from normal spring rolls found in the North and the South. It is thin and long and made from pork and spring onion. Banh xeo is much smaller compared to the larger one cooked by people in the South and its main ingredients are rice powder, sprouts and shrimp.
Especially, the shop owner Ms. Be greets diners and escorts them to their tables and serves food. She will roll vegetables and food with paper cake and dip it into her special soybean sauce then give it to a diner.
The shop has been located in town for nearly 20 years and is a must-visit for any tourist who wishes to discover the art of gastronomy in Hoi An.
Tucked away down the Ba Le Well Lane on the edge of Hoi An‘s Old Town is Ba Le Well Restaurant. Hugely popular with Hoi An locals, you are more likely to hear it before you see it, and when you see it you will most probably wonder what all the fuss is about, as it’s not much more than a street food stall with communal bench table and plastic chairs. A barbecue laden with pork skewers lies at the front of the tiny restaurant, which specialises in the Hoi An version of country pancakes or banh xeo, as they are famously known throughout Vietnam.
As with most national dishes, each region has their own take (see Saigon’s version here) with Hoi An’s banh xeo relying upon the fragrant herbs grown locally at Tra Que vegetable garden — in my opinion these are some of the freshest and tastiest found in the country.
If you choose Ba Le Well — and you should — go hungry and be ready for a few surprises. Within seconds of pulling up a stool, plates piled with fresh herbs, crispy savoury pancakes stuffed with bean sprouts and a river shrimp, pork skewers, shrimp spring rolls, an undressed coleslaw salad, satay-style dip and rice paper all magically appear in front of you. Just before you get a chance to wonder what the hell is going on, you will get pounced upon by the fabulously forward owner or one of her equally cougar-esque staff who will not only give you a lesson in how to prepare your banh xeo, but will also literally stuff them in your mouth.
And the food just keeps coming. Every time a plate is anything less than half full, it gets piled high with more. I have never left this restaurant feeling less than hugely uncomfortable, but the food is so good you can’t help but overindulge, and at 80,000 VND per person it’s a great value feed. Throw in the entertainment value on top and it’s one of the best nights out you’ll get in Hoi An. Ba Le Well is a must-visit for anyone who wants to sample the tastes of Hoi An, unless of course you are a vegetarian, where pickings are thin on the ground as it’s a set menu – well, actually it’s a no-menu establishment. It’s one meal done well and served with aplomb.
If this isn’t quite to your taste, other alternatives line nearby Phan Chau Trinh Street, so take a wander. Forpho you can’t go wrong with Pho Xua at number 35A, which aside from pho knocks up cao lau, com gaand pork spring rolls that literally melt in the mouth at 25,000 VND a dish — it’s a great one-stop place to try a few of the more famous Hoi An specialty dishes.
If you’re keen to try banh xeo but won’t be in this area, don’t fear, as they’re on the menu at most Vietnamese restaurants in town. Mermaid, one of Hoi An’s first restaurants to target travellers, is worthy of a try if you’re not quite feeling up to the feed of monstrous proportions you’ll get at Ba Le Well.
1. Giếng Bá Lễ là một giếng Chăm cổ nằm trong khu vực dân cư trên đường Trần Hưng Đạo. Giếng nổi tiếng với nguồn nước mát trong, nấu cơm cơm ngon, pha trà trà thơm. Có lẽ vì ở gần giếng cổ này mà chủ quán đã lấy tên Bá Lễ để đặt tên cho quán. Để rồi từ đó, Bá Lễ “chết tên” với những món ăn đặc sản, trứ danh mà khách du lịch thường rỉ tai nhau mỗi dịp đến thăm thú phố cổ.
Quán không rộng và trông khá dân dã với một dãy bàn kê thêm bên vỉa hè của con hẻm nhỏ. Với căn bếp “lộ thiên” được đặt ra sát mép đường như để trình diễn cho thực khách biết thêm về những món ăn của quán.
Cũng vì gần đường nên cứ hễ ngang qua Giếng Bá Lễ thì y như rằng ai cũng ngoái nhìn vào quán vì mùi thơm ngào ngạt, kích thích đến lạ kỳ của những xiên thịt nướng, nem lụi gác gọn gàng bên bếp lửa…
2. Ấn tượng nhất có lẽ là món thịt nướng và nem lụi của quán ăn này, dù tại đây có khá nhiều món. Loại thịt đem nướng được chọn là loại heo nạc và thái mỏng sao cho vừa kẹp vào chiếc đũa chẻ dọc thân. Miếng thịt to bản rộng cỡ khoảng 3 ngón tay. Chủ quán cho biết, cách thái thịt như thế sẽ đảm bảo thịt chín đều và dai ngon. Trước khi đưa lên bếp than hồng, thịt được tẩm ướp gia vị cẩn thận, rắc thêm mè để làm dậy mùi thơm. Ăn kèm với món thịt nướng thường là bánh tráng mỏng dùng để cuốn cùng rau sống. Trải miếng bánh tráng trên đĩa, cho ít rau sống, dưa leo, bỏ miếng thịt nướng vào cuộn tròn lại và thưởng thức.
Đối với món nem lụi, cách ăn cũng tương tự. Có điều khác là nem lụi thường được cho vào bánh tráng cuốn, giữ chặt rồi rút chiếc xiên ra.
Tôi từng được ăn món này ở nhiều nơi, nhưng chưa bao giờ được thưởng thức xiên nem lụi ngon như ở quán Giếng Bá Lễ. Nhiều người sành ăn nhận định, chủ quán đã xử lý phần thịt nem rất công phu và kỹ lưỡng.
Đặc biệt, thứ nước chấm rất thơm dùng để ăn thịt nướng đã khiến nhiều người ngạc nhiên vì quá lạ miệng và rất khó tả. Có lẽ đó là bí mật không thể “bật mí” được nên khi được hỏi về thứ nước chấm này, chủ quán chỉ đáp gọn: “Chủ yếu là tương đậu nành nấu kèm với một số gia vị”.
Giếng cổ Bá Lễ hàng ngày thu hút hàng trăm lượt người đến lấy nước về dùng. Có người ở cách giếng hàng cây số vẫn tay xô, tay bình tìm đến giếng cổ lấy nước chỉ để nấu lên pha một tách cà phê. Thế nên chẳng có gì lạ khi các món ăn tại quán giếng cổ Bá Lễ ngon đến ngất ngây vì nấu chung nguồn nước này.
No choice here – you just sit and get bombarded with a mountain of plates. The staff teach you how to put everything together and you just sit and enjoy. Unforgettable experience. Absolute must do in Hoi An – be warned – arrive hungry!
You’ll smell it before you see it. That’s how you know you’ve found Bale Well, a tiny open-air restaurant in one of Hoi An’s back alleys.
As arguably the most touristy town in Vietnam, Hoi An has a lot of fantastic restaurants, catering to visitors seeking air conditioned fine dining. I appreciate a gourmet meal as much as the next person, but my search for Bale Well was because I wanted something a little less polished.
It’s admittedly not a secret place. Yes, Bale Well does appear in the guidebooks and Google searches, but it’s also just slightly off the main tourist streets of Hoi An’s old city — hidden enough to attract locals and tourists in the know.
My travel mate and I ordered up the only dish we could: barbecued pork, cooked on a smoking outdoor grill a few feet away (and the source of the delicious aroma that had guided us). There’s no real menu at Bale Well, just a set offering of fixings to make the tastiest rolls I’ve ever experienced. Ask for the set dish and you’ll get a buffet of pork, rice paper wrappers, rice pancakes (called bánh xèo, and considered to be one of the iconic Hoi An street foods), a basket of fresh herbs (coriander, mint, Asian basil), and dipping sauce.
Securing all the items into a tight roll takes some practice (I never quite mastered it), but even if your roll ends up falling apart while juice drips down your arms, it’s still a totally delicious experience. The pork is smoky, the herbs crunchy, the pancake crispy, and the sauce a perfect mix of sweet and spicy.
The best part is that lunch at Bale Well feels far more authentic — not to mention much cheaper — than at the touristy restaurants along the river. Even the name is a homage to traditional Vietnamese street food. “Bale Well” also refers to an ancient well that dates back to the 10th century Cham dynasty and is part of culinary legend; it’s said that the well was the traditional water source for the Hoi An specialty of cao lau, a thick noodle soup of pork or seafood. But that’s another food story for another day…
The official address for Bale Well is 45/51 Trần Hưng Đạo, but finding it can be a bit of a challenge (although some say that’s part of the fun). It’s tucked down an alleyway between Trần Hưng Đạo and Phan Châu Trinh. Just follow your nose.
Recommended highly by friends and in online reviews, we were excited to head over to Bale Well (located down a back alley in central Hoi Ain, Vietnam) for a tasty Vietnamese lunch that consisted of Vietnamese rice paper wraps where special ingredients such as country pancakes, fried spring rolls, satay meat skewers, kimchi and vegetables were provided.
Well hidden down a back-alley, this gem of an eatery is popular with tourists and locals alike; however, like all hidden gems, it’s well worth taking the time to find. The restaurant itself receives the ultimate stamp of approval in my books for being equally as popular with locals as it is vacationing foreigners and expats.
The restaurant itself includes simple decor that includes cheap plastic chairs on flimsy metal tables allows you to strictly focus on the food at your table. As much as a enjoy eating in finer establishments, I often find restaurants with the most character are simple in design. Pets and or other charms or quirks only add to the experience.
Getting back on topic with the food, in order to make these rice rolls you first grab two layers to form the base where you load it up with fresh veggies, kimchi, spring rolls, skewered meat and country pancakes. Although I’m not always great with my hands, I didn’t have any trouble making the rolls after the careful and deliberate instructions for our gracious host.
The dipping sauce (which has a peanut consistency) makes each bite memorable. This kind of sweet peanut sauce is something I’ve had numerous times while eating Vietnamese rolls.
What really makes this restaurant stand out from the crowd is the friendly and quirky the service is from the owners and staff.
As an example, one of our servers came to our table and picked up a skewer that we full expected she’d use for one of our rolls; however, she quickly plopped it right into Audrey’s mouth; I don’t Audrey has been fed since she was a child 😉
When I was finished dinner she came back over with a wet napkin and wiped my face clean of food and sweat as some Korean diners giggled out loud. I didn’t quite know how to react so I just smiled and laughed our loud. It was an interesting experience I’ll never forget; I’m quite sure of that 😉
Our entire feast came to 180,000 (roughly $9 USD) for the two of us which was great value considering how many of these rolls we stuffed down our beaks.
Hopefully we’ll have time to come back again before we leave for Hanoi:
BALE Well gets its name from an ancient well famous in the Hoi An area. Many of Hoi An’s people use the water from this well because apparently there is no aluminium in it. While Mai’s restaurant is not as old as this well left over from the Cham period, it has been operating for over 14 years, first in a tiny shed, and now in a modern two storey house. She started the business herself with four popular dishes that belong to the Hoi An region served with a very special dipping sauce made from soya beans and lots of different herbs and vegetables. She decided to maintain the simple setting she had at the beginning, of low plastic tables and chairs. On both my visits, Bale Well was full with a mixture of a few knowledgeable westerners and local customers. I realized that part of the attraction is the simple menu of four dishes: Banh Xeo(Rice pan cake), Thit nuong(grilled pork), Ram cuon(spring rolls), Nem nuong(grilled pork with sate). BALE Well Restaurant
45/51 Tran Hung Dao Street
Hoi An Town
Đề nghị đánh giá cao bởi bạn bè và trong đánh giá trực tuyến, chúng tôi đã vui mừng đi qua Bale Well (nằm xuống một hẻm trở lại trong trung tâm Hội Ain, Việt Nam) cho một bữa ăn trưa Việt Nam ngon mà bao gồm giấy gạo Việt Nam kết thúc tốt đẹp nơi các thành phần đặc biệt như bánh nước , chiên chả giò, sa tế xiên thịt, kim chi và rau đã được cung cấp.
Cũng nằm khuất trong một con hẻm trở lại, đá quý này của một quán ăn rất phổ biến với khách du lịch và người dân địa phương, tuy nhiên, giống như tất cả đá quý ẩn, nó cũng có giá trị dành thời gian để tìm kiếm.
Just steps to the night market, Nguyen Hoang, will Gershwin you a beautiful, small booths, each stacked cake is arranged, the presentation neat rhetoric. Above is a pretty modest “signs”: “roll her America”.
cakes, Chutneys, rice paper roll and sweet potato rice …
American girl Cafe selling mainly cakes, Chutneys, rice paper roll and sweet potato rice. Make sure you also do something strange with cakes and chili-two famous specialities of Hoi An. Me too, I am just the most impressive is the sweet potato roll by your husband and wife do. Cake flour is made from sweet potatoes, sprinkle some fresh ginger and sesame. Taste of bread, Sesame and greasy of sweet potatoes, bake up yellow, when the bite generated cries sounded brittle melted in the mouth.
She is one of the few who do have sweet potato cake in Hoi An in Hoi An. Although this is the rustic, little craft lyrics but is the family’s main source of income. Besides the sweet potato pies cakes and chili are also equally delicious, are you choose purchase from the prestigious Centre in Hoi An that resale prices affordable. You should be very happy funny people and visitors.
If you do not come to the night market was then able to fall in Hoi An in the day asked her booth selling American rice paper is going to have people only. In particular, she only sold the right price so you don’t bargain. She also teaches baking classes open those you need and love the sweet potato pies.
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Afternoon Group Brothers of charity Lam Hien was directly to the House of Mrs. Tran Thi Cuc born 1973 in 4 Blocks An Bang Thanh Ha Ward sister was sick Brain Atrophy (ARIMO) 7 years ago but 2 years the disease did not go back to real sister was her husband died young, she already has a daughter currently 3rd year of college you have to life thanks to the old mother is her Nguyen Thi year Residual aged 81 and British Spouses Tran Van camp population of family life too difficult. On behalf of the charity group, Blue Sage please earnestly call upon the giọi Sponsors the Benefactors and other Volunteers please because generosity help tiger at least your net support to his family to give his family a population less difficult part and create the conditions for my granddaughter to school
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