The crispy whole fried fish at Doi Moi is picture-worthy. Almost in unison, three of us in our group whipped out our phones to take a shot.
The fish makes a quick journey from the fryer to the table. “You have to eat it while it’s hot,” I implored everyone.
Are those looks of anticipation or fear? It’s hard to say.
If it was fear, it quickly gave way to appreciation for the crispy skin and succulent meat. This is the dish to order at Doi Moi.
Can anyone identify this type of fish? I couldn’t tell. The Chinese traditionally use carp or bass, which are longer in shape, and I think meatier. Many Chinese consider the cheeks to be the best part of the fish; I can safely say there was no meat on these cheeks. I checked — thoroughly. This bugger had a thin head, and any meat was singed to a crisp.
I remember my mom saying that my grandmother used to enjoy eating the eyeballs. I plucked one out and popped it into my mouth. It was chewy and dry, and rather not too exciting.
So the Doi Moi crispy fish is not exactly like the Chinese version. But with Chinese New Year just around the corner, you can still observe a Chinese custom: when it arrives at the table, point the head of the fish toward your guest of honor.
1800 14th St. NW