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"What, all you did in Vietnam was eat????"

A round of "Dzo, 100%" from all the good eats I've gotten from my trip to Vietnam. My tummy is punishing me right now because I indulged in one too many tamarind candy that A brought back from the Phillippines. That old adage, moderation's the key, rings true again. Oh well, live and learn. I'm thankful for the endless supply of Imodium that I brought from the US.

Where to start... Let this be a post where you can follow my cookie crumbs via a myriad of food porn. Let's hope you've caught up with the 21st century by having broadband connection else you'd be hella frustrated with the slow loading photos...

My first meal was at the invitation of a local friend. The place was Co Ngu restaurant. Located at 222 Pasteaur in District 3 HCMC, the restaurant's setting gets a thumbs up for those looking to impress or relax. The atmosphere of being in a French villa with its shaded trees, high ceiling with rectangular light fixture is nice and enjoyable but the food left little to be desired. We ordered the goi ngo sua, aka jellyfish salad, and crab asparagus soup along with luon chien muoi ot, aka grilled eel served with chili salt. The salad itself was okay but the accompany shrimp crackers were stale which is a major disappointment as the crackers are an important part of this dish's (or any other goi dishes) success. The soup was bland and required a heavy dose of white pepper to make it palatable. And don't even get me started on the eel as the portion was so skimpy and the presentation was so uninspiring that I didn't bother to take a photo.

I have a feeling my friend wanted to impress me, a visiting foreigner hence her choice of Cu Ngu but I would rather enjoy great food at a stall than lackluster offerings in a nice restaurant.
The next morning's breakfast made up for the disappointment. A short walk from my hotel led me to Thanh Noi at 75-77 Cong Quynh, District 1. Hue food with its spicy offerings isn't exactly a foreigner's breakfast of choice but what the hell, when in VN, do like the Vietnamese.

The Bun bo Hue was average because it didn't have enough of the spicy kick that bun bo is known for. However, the other Hue offerings such as banh bot loc & banh nam was quite tasty. The rice flour dough was soft yet chewy and the fillings is delish. The nuoc cham was a good blend as well. My tab of the noodle & the other treats + an iced coffee along with wet nap came out to be less than 35,000 dong or US$2.25.

As I wander aimlessly looking for the next tasty street treat, I spotted a KFC. Fear not, I wasn't about to betray my pseudo-foodie badge... However, I was tempted to go inside as I just happened to be wearing one of these. Somehow I don't think the local employees would get the humor...

Dinner that night was at a noname restaurant on Cach Mang Thang Tam. I'm pretty sure it had a name but my memory is betraying me at this moment. I do remember that my 3 dishes meal along with 2 bottles of Tiger set me back a whopping 125,000 dong or US$7.75. Need to wire home for some $ to fund my extravagant eating habit, I say.
  • Tho xao lang - rabbit in a coconut-curry like sauce with cellophane noodle
  • Cha dum dac biet - House special meatloaf
  • Oc buu chien don - Tempura snails

Tune in next for the seafood chowdown in Nha Trang...

i really do miss vietnamese food - they really dun hv good and cheap viet food in singapore!

oh the best thing to do in vietnam would be to eat your way through it!! Looks like you did a good job of that.

what else would you do but to eat in Vietnam right ? :) i wish i could be there to taste these delicious dishes ... maybe one day. nice blog and photos.

if you don't mind i'll add your link to my blogroll.

I don't blame you for eating your way through Vietnam, isn't that what you are supposed to do? You are a smart traveler for stocking up on the Immodium though. Like a Boy Scout, always prepared!

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