Nhu Y Ca 8 Mon (Fountain Valley)
We were thinking about having Bo Bay Mon (Seven Course Beef) while in the O.C. area and after yelping, the mention of an extra course led us to Nhu Y Ca 8 Mon instead. This place had EIGHT courses using fish instead of beef! I'm down for the fish!
The eclectic decor inside struck me first. There wasn't any type of continuity between the decorations, with random plants here and there. We were seated in one of their booths near the window and we asked the waiter about their fish set. He said that it was enough for two normal appetites so we ordered a single order ($24.95).
To start, we got the first course of Goi Ca (Fish Salad) in a very generous size. There were fish strips mixed in that were firm and did not fall apart. There was fish sauce already mixed into the mixture and it came with freshly fried shrimp chips.
The second course was premade Goi Cuon Ca (Spring Rolls with Fish). They were simple in taste and an example of what you make for the rest of the courses. On the wall were instructions on "how to roll a spring roll' for any newbies.
They bring out the regular size banh trang (rice paper wrapper), noodles, and vegetables for making the spring rolls.
There are also three dipping sauces. The left is nuoc mam (typical fish sauce), the right side is tuong (peanut sauce type), and the middle is a pungent sauce. I didn't use any of the sauces except fish sauce cuz that's how I like my spring rolls.
The next course served was Ca Vi Sat (Sizzling Fish Filet on Hot Plate), enough for several rolls! It had a nice buttery taste and was slightly crispy on the edges. You can see there's a slight breading to it (or formed during cooking) but it wasn't oily. You can also add the partially grilled onions to your spring roll for extra flavor. This is actually listed as course 7 on the website.
The next four courses were enough to make smaller 3 inch spring rolls. On the bottom left was Ca La Lot (Broiled Hawaiian Lot Leaf Fish Wraps), one of the more popular items and next to it was Ca Mo Chai (Wrapped Broiled Fish), which was like a fishcake sausage and tasty in the spring roll.
The other two courses were Ca Chien Don Mam Me (Fried fish strips with tamarind sauce) which I thought was okay (it didn't really stick out in the roll) and Cha Gio Ca (Fish Eggrolls) which were quite crispy as you imagine from looking at it! Dennis liked them both.
The last course was the Chao Ca (Fish Rice Porridge). The bowl isn't too big but the ratio of fish to soup was decent. I wasn't sure what fish was used in all these courses but perhaps they all were the same kind of fish?
So what's the outcome? Once added to the spring rolls, the fish varieties became less distinguishable except for the stronger flavored ones. Still, you get a nice sampling of dishes for a decent price. You can also substitute a course for a fee of $1 per item and any of the courses can be ordered on its own too.
On the regular menu, we saw a second set of prices (slightly higher) that were for food ordered in their special back room. This room was almost as big as the front dining area and could be used for private parties, karaoke, and music. So you can have a party here too if you want! We also saved $5 off $25 through a yelp offer we found, though you can also ask the manager about getting it without the online deal. Besides their eight course fish, they have the more common seven course beef as well as other Vietnamese entrees. I think this place is worth a little more exploration food-wise.
Nhu Y Ca 8 Mon
10830 Warner Ave
Fountain Valley CA 92708