Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012 First day in Ho Chi Minh

Day one of our adventures in Vietnam looking at and for new dishes / flavours for our restaurant. We start in Ho Chi Minh to see family and go to a wedding; of course this never stops our quest for food. 

The day was a bit of a hazy one as we had just landed from a long and mostly sleepless flight. Of course this does not stop us from diving right away into some local food; no wimpy transition this time, straight to a small local restaurant that has Hue style food, "O Xuân"

We started with Banh Nam - Rice flour with pork and spices cooked in a Banana leaf. 

Could have used a bit more spicy but as a starter on our first day it tasted ok.

Then we had some Bue Bo Hue

 The broth was beefy but was not very strong, it was more like a beef soup than Bun Bo Hue. It was missing the strong taste of the fermented shrimp paste and any spiciness. I guess it was adjusted to the local taste of the area we are staying. The highlights of the dish are the added meats and blood. The blood was perfectly spiced and other meats tasty.

My wife had a noodle dish that had small clams called Com Hen, very good spicy and tasty with great texture.The crunch was supplied in three ways, deep fried pork rinds (a favorite) peanuts and sesame seeds. This was a very good dish and when you add the fresh herbs and vegetables, it was great.

The restaurant also sold a few other items fresh at the front but we did not try them.

Later that night we took a further plunge into the street food by having a Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwich) 

 It is a big gamble as we could be headed for the nearest toilet within a short period but I am always ready for the consequences of my foody follies. 

The cart is right on the corner of the street near our relatives home (everything is close here), the ultimate fast food location. The food is kept at a nice 30 + Celsius most of the day, just waiting for the customer to order it fresh.

 We ordered a meatball and a special with hot peppers. I mention the hot peppers as they were actually too hot (even for me) as they over powered the taste of the rest of the ingredients. The meat ball was soft and mushy but actually better than any I have had in Canada, great potential for having another one during our time here.

The special was an assortment of meat but the meat was quite fatty, it was properly fatty as most actually prefer it that way but I am not use to it.

The funny thing that happened at the Hotel we are staying at, I became a very minor star for their advertising campaign. They needed a big white guy in their photos to attract international hotel guests, can we say desperate :). I take no responsibility for a drop in business when they post my photos. For a picture of the shoot and the Hotel go to our Facebook page

All in all a good first day.