Here's how food lovers can get authentic Vietnamese food that isn't on the menu

Submitted by Stomper David

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Here's a tip Stomper David would like to share on getting a unique dining experience by ordering food that is not on the menu.

David sat in for a "private dinner" (私房菜) with his friends at a Vietnamese food stall in a coffeeshop at Block 109 Bukit Batok West Avenue 6.

The private dinner refers to a dinner where customers order dishes that are not on the menu.

According to the Stomper, the food on the menu of Vietnamese food stall had typical Vietnamese dishes that are sold at other stalls.

However, David decided to request for a variation of those foods instead of those on the menu.

He went down to the food stall two weeks in advance and spoke to the cook's husband about his idea.

The Vietnamese cook had not received a request like this before, but discussed it with his wife.

Stall owner and his wife (centre)

The cook, who is from Vietnam, agreed to serve food specially for David and his friends.

The owner and his wife briefly told David what they would be serving and proceeded to buy the ingredients required to make the food.

On Nov 22 at about 7.30pm, David and his friends met for the private dinner at the stall and even brought their own wine.

David said: "There were seven of us and each dish cost about $20 to $30. The serving size was so large, all of us couldn't finish the food.

"The food was very authentic, not like the normal cookie-cutter kind of Vietnamese food you normally would see."

The food that was served included traditional spring rolls as an appetiser, Vietnamese noodles with pork and vegetables in fish sauce, seafood cockles and Vietnamese style beef.

David found the idea of eating food that was not on the menu intriguing and would like to share this idea with other Singaporeans.

"Instead of going to extremely expensive places, Singaporeans can get good food at reasonable prices at hawker centres," he added.

He said that Singaporeans can try to go up to cooks or stall owners and discuss how to go about having a private dinner.

"I am sharing this idea to encourage Singaporeans to try variations of food that out of the ordinary. 

"I believe this also provides a business opportunity to coffeeshop stall owners and hawkers."