I dropped into BALE Well restaurant following a recommendation from a friend and I ended up really satisfied with a full stomach and a head full of information after a great chat with the very friendly owner, Mai. 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. During our chat, Mai told me that the reason she hasn’t changed the décor and style of her restaurant is because her customers (mostly locals) prefer it like it is. Also, it allows her to keep the price below many of the other restaurants in town, something her customers also appreciate, I’m sure.
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). The other attraction is that prices are under 10,000Vnd per dish. It’s also possible to choose a set menu for only 50,000Vnd which is more than enough for one person and includes a bit of everything. My mate and I couldn’t finish it and we tried hard!
At the end of our meal, Mai showed me many messages from regular and former customers. That’s a good sign for her and shows that she runs the restaurant really well. Her staff is very friendly and helpful; the food is cheap and easy to order as well. In fact, you can let Mai do the ordering for you!
Set menu includes all 4 dishes: 50,000Vnd Thit Nuong - One stick grilled meat : 3000vnd Banh Xeo - Rice Pan Cake : 3000Vnd Ram Nuong - Spring rolls : 2000Vnd Nem nuong - Grilled pork with sate : 10,000Vnd for three sticks.
Open from 9.30am to 9.30pm BALE Well Restaurant 45/51 Tran Hung Dao Street Hoi An Town (84)(510)864443