My parents had told me so many times about how good chicken was in Vietnam Food that I couldn’t wait to taste it for myself when I returned with my husband in January 2003. Our first day was in Hanoi, and after checking into the hotel, we set out into the streets looking for lunch.
At a small, arty café, we ordered gà nướng, expecting something akin to Vietnamese Garlic Oven Roasted Chicken (Ga Ro Ti). Instead, the hipster waitress returned with plates of sliced grilled chicken thigh, rice, and the ingredients - salt, white pepper, lime, chile - for mixing up a dipping sauce. We took a few bites and then practically inhaled the rest, not because we were famished but because the dish was so unbelievably good. The toothsome meat and crispy skin were wonderful dipped in the tart-andhot sauce. Nowadays, whenever I make this dish for an easy dinner, I am reminded of that memorable lunch.