Setting foot in the land of Hue, you just cannot miss Com Am Phu (Purgatory Rice) – a specialty that is steeped in both history and culture.

What is ‘Com Am Phu’?

Com Am Phu, originating from the Nguyen Dynasty era, is a renowned food in Hue, Vietnam. Originating during the Nguyen Dynasty, this delicacy represents a harmonious blend of local flavors. Com Am Phu features a delectable combination of ram meat, spring rolls, shrimp lice, omelet, and an array of herbs and pickles. Served alongside fragrant steamed rice and complemented by the distinct taste of fish sauce, this dish encapsulates the essence of Hue cuisine.

Origin of the name ‘Com Am Phu’ – Purgatory Rice

Don’t judge a book by its cover! Purgatory Rice isn’t that fancy, elegant type of delicacy placed on a large, shiny plate – there’s actually more of a rustic and subtle touch to it. Purgatory Rice is indeed surprisingly mouth-watering. Legend has it that the King used to disguise himself as a commoner to travel places freely. He visited an old widow’s cottage along the way and asked for a meal, but she didn’t have much to offer other than rice and veggies because of her poverty. However, since he was tired and hungry, the king thoroughly enjoyed the meal. On returning to the palace, the king had this dish recreated and it has been widely spread throughout all parts of Hue ever since. Later, the people of Hue added various ingredients to the recipe and there we have our version of Purgatory Rice today.

Source: @tinlovefood

All you need for your home-made Purgatory Rice are just these simple, readily available ingredients such as white rice, grilled pork, duck eggs, spring rolls, cucumbers, fresh shrimp, herbs… Purgatory Rice was once a dish for working-class people who had to work night shifts (“yin” hours), hence the name “Purgatory Rice – rice of the underworld”. However, it has become a well-known delicacy of Hue which you can find in both luxury restaurants and regular diners these days.


Modern version of ‘Com Am Phu’ – Purgatory Rice

There’s a restaurant in the center of the imperial city of Hue that put a twist to the rustic this dish with hundreds of years of history – Nam Phuong Restaurant which is located inside Silk Path Grand Hue Hotel & Spa at 2 Le Loi, Vinh Ninh Street. Here at Nam Phuong Restaurant, Purgatory Rice is a must-try. The dish prepared in a creative fusion style: the rice is dyed blue using butterfly pea petals which were grown in our hotel’s garden. Plus, the ‘toppings’ are seasoned according to the chef’s special recipe, creating a unique flavor that you only get to enjoy at Nam Phuong restaurant.

Under the name of the last empress of the Nguyen Dynasty, Nam Phuong restaurant bears the typical architecture of an ancient palace, and a decoration style that is luxurious and cozy, giving our customers a feeling of comfort and relaxation.

Address: 2 Le Loi, Vinh Ninh, Hue (Silk Path Grand Hue Hotel & Spa)
Opening hours: 6:30AM – 11:00PM

The elegant Nam Phuong Restaurant at Silk Path Grand Hue Hotel & Spa