Friday, August 17, 2007

Bale Well Restaurant

BaLe Well Restaurant

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.

BaLe Well Restaurant

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.

BaLe Well Restaurant

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!

BaLe Well Restaurant

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!

BaLe Well Restaurant

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


tweeboowee said...

mmmmmmm that looks sooo yummy!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review. This restaurant has been on my list of restaurants to try when I visit Hoi An. I love the pictures.

Tam Nguyen

sm said...

Anh ơi tuần tới em đưa bạn vào Sài Gòn,Nha Trang,Hội An,Huế nhưng mà thông tin em tìm hiểu trên nét chung chung quá.Anh giúp em tìm hiểu thêm thông tin về cuộc sống,con người những nơi này với nhé.Thanks ^^

Jackson said...

wow..... the food looks so good!! I alwiz dream to try real authentic Vietnamese food!

Rhiannon said...

Banh Xeo is one of my most favorite dish! Yummy!

Anonymous said...

Jesus christ my friend I can't wait to get back to Hanoi.
Love your pictures! I get really hungry (luckily I'm cooking Nem (Hanoi) ((Cha Gio)) right now.

Ban chup anh gioi qua, ban lam nghe chup anh khong ?

Co le minh se gap nhau o Hanoi tren tuong lai :-)

Best regard,

Peter Hjemdahl

former expat in Hanoi

Lived in Kim Ma, Van Phuc and later Cua Nam

Van Cong Tu said...

Thanks all for comments. Have a good day.
Peter, Sure

Anonymous said...

Just got back home to australia after a visit to Vietnam and Bale Well was a two time destination for us. Absolutely delicious, tastes even better than it looks. Mai will order for you and then show you how to make up all the delicious rolls she is a wonderful lady, can't wait to go back.

Susanne Macys

Van Cong Tu said...

yes, you are right. she's a luvly woman

Lan said...

i came to Bale restaurant in Hoi An and was charged foreigner price. The owner was not honest so becareful. I ordered a set menu which consist of 9 bbq sticks, 3 small yellow pancakes, 5 small springrolls and some lettuce and the bill came to pay $120,000vnd. The local told me that they only pay ~4000vnd per stick. jan 09

Invertir en Oro said...

Thanks for the review. This restaurant has been on my list of restaurants to try when I visit Hoi An. I love the pictures. said...

I completely agree with the post.

Keith said...

Yeah we had no idea what we were doing either. I really dont remember how much we paid but we did know we wanted to go back. Once we sat down they served us everything. Looked at each other wondering what to do. The owner helped us out and taught us how to wrap the food nand it was so good. So good. They refilled stuff for us when dishes were empty and taught us the proper way of eating. The staff were excellent and the people that ate beside us were entertaining. Loved it.

Patoche said...

C est authentique, un menu unique mais excellent, de bons moment passés avec Mai qui nous en rapportait gracieusement encore !!! Donc pas de repas le soir nous étions rassasiés de tant de mets délicieux

Unknown said...

Interesting article! Thank you so much! I work for this Hoi An restaurant. I love Hoi An, peaceful & charming ancient town.