Best Vietnamese spring rolls in Singapore

Also known as goi cuon, this delectable entrée refers to the freshness of spring.
By epicure
Published on Friday, 27 Apr 2012

ANNAM VIETNAMESE CUISINE [CLOSED]
Chef Nguyen Quoc Nam, who hails from Phan Rang in central Vietnam, swears by the Red Rose and Three Ladies brands of rice paper. And for good reason: they’re thicker, and have a higher rice content as compared to the thin, see-through sheets made with tapioca starch. His compact rice rolls at Annam boast the springiness of fresh vermicelli , prawns and raw finely julienned vegetables. If you think rice rolls can’t get more delicious than that, try the banh cuon, where they are steamed, and stuffed with minced pork and black wood ear fungus. #02-11 Shaw Centre, 1 Scotts Road. Tel: 6735 6656

PHO HOA
Sweet chilli and briny fish sauce commonly star as the preferred nuoc cham to Vietnamese rice rolls, but the peanut dip at Pho Hoa is equally wonderful. Thick, creamy and with just a hint of sesame, it complements the delicate herbs, shredded chicken, boiled prawns and carrot strips sheathed under crystal clear sheets of rice paper. 18 Lorong Mambong. Tel: 6467 3662

SWEET SALTY SPICY [CLOSED]
Even without the traditional stuffing of vermicelli noodles or raw greens, the rice rolls at this Thai canteen pack in a melange of clean flavours. Cubes of firm tofu, poached prawns and blanched bean sprouts come together in a refreshing filling, and when paired with a piquant tamarind and crispy garlic dressing, make for addictive morsels you’ll want additional helpings of. The Rail Mall, 392/394 Upper Bukit Timah Road. Tel: 6877 2544

VIET LANG [CLOSED]
Viet Lang’s Goi Cuon are plump ‘nuggets’ filled with crispy-licious soft shell crab, vermicelli, lettuce, julienned carrot, and tiny pineapple slices that threaten to break out of the glistening rice paper skins. While it comes with peanut sauce, we recommend savouring this one on its own: the ingredients combine to offer subtly sweet and nutty flavours, a refreshing aftertaste, and a tantalising texture; it’s like munching into an emasculated gyro#01-03 1 Old Parliament Lane, Annex Building Old Parliament House. Tel: 6337 3379

LE VIET CAFÉ & RESTAURANT
This quiet, understated Vietnamese eatery looks a tad gimmicky with the red and yellow décor that alludes to the colours of the Vietnamese flag, but the food more than holds its own. The Goi Cuon are smaller in size than those usually found in other Vietnamese eateries, which make them much easier to savour at one go and enjoy the herbaceous potpourri of mint leaves, lettuce, vermicelli, and boiled prawn in one indulgent mouthful. 392 East Coast Road. Tel: 6446 4567

VIET EXPRESS
This is a popular pho spot for the white collar folks working in the CBD area so do remember to make a reservation if you are popping over for lunch. There’s no fancy renditions of the rice paper roll here: each Goi Cuon is a delicate, translucent rice paper skin hugging grounded peanuts, bean sprouts, rice vermicelli, lettuce and prawn. Go easy on the irresistible delectable peanut sauce so you won’t mask the freshness of the vegetables. #01-34/35 China Square Central – Nankin Row, 3 Pickering Street. Tel: 6536 9914

NUOC [CLOSED]
Stuffed with rice vermicelli, silvers of boiled pork, plump shrimp and fresh herbs, the gỏi cuốn from this modern Vietnamese restaurant was wrapped tightly with moistened rice paper so none of the ingredients fell out when we picked it up with our chopsticks. Dip the neatly packed bundles into the accompanying sauce made from Hoisin peanut sauce, chopped peanuts, julienned radish, carrots and chilli for a sweet and sour starter—it’s almost like tucking into a bowl of beef pho without the element of soup. 181 Orchard Road, Orchard Central #12-01. Tel: 6884 6808

LE TONKIN RESTAURANT & LOUNGE
The Vietnamese spring rolls here are smaller in size than the others we have sampled but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in flavour. The delicate pieces were served with a tangy clear sauce and dill for a refreshing touch. Ann Siang Road, The Club Hotel. Tel: 6808 2182

LONG PHUNG VIETNAMESE RESTAURANT
You know that the food is going to be authentic when the place is patronised by other Vietnamese. This no frills eatery is more air-conditioned coffee shop than restaurant, and served up fresh springy spring rolls stuffed with crunchy bean sprouts with your choice of fermented soybean paste mixed with chilli or piquant fish sauce with a squeeze of lime. We watched our neighbours scarfed down a plate and ordered seconds in a matter of minutes. 159 Joo Chiat Road. Tel: 9105 8519

PHAN VIET DELI
The flushed prawns peeking from fragrant rice paper rolls make Phan Viet Deli’s Viet Rice-Paper Seafood Roll appear strikingly enticing. Take a bite at this gỏi cuốn and indulge in its sweet, firm and rather sticky rice paper, succulent seafood, crunchy lettuce, julienned carrots, cucumber, mint leaves and vermicelli. A dip it into its accompaniment, Vietnamese fish sauce with grated carrots, will guarantee an accentuated flavour. 112 Robinson Road #01-03 HB Robinson. Tel: 6223 8301