starter: sweet potato soup
Sunset party on the liner deck: fried spring roll and Vietnamese wine
Oh to travel! And to eat. Somehow I neglected saying anything about what I ate in Vietnam last week. Food on board Glory Cruise was not far in taste with what I am used to. Thailand and Vietnam are neighbors after all.
Our very first meal preceded the food adventure we did that evening. We joined locals on sidewalk mini stools in the Old Quarter as we explored the menu. I had beef noodles which was yummy. But my friend was brave. She ordered fried pigeon which was served with, and I quote her, "head, beak and feet intact."
I observed my friend eating like a pro and wondered if her appetite had anything to do with how she can stitch a lacerated forehead or extract a cyst at work (girl's a doc). She encouraged me to try and I only released a frustrated croak, "fly away! skyline pigeon fly..." I'd rather stick to art museums.
But I have no problem trying anything else. Here's a list of 13 Vietnamese dishes that you may want to try if you haven't already. I have tasted nos. 1-6, 8 and 10, and I would love to eat them again, except number 10. My faves are nos. 1-3.
1. Pho beef noodles in salty broth with herbs
2. Chao Tom grilled shrimp in sugarcane stick
3. Goi Cuon (spring rolls) pork, prawn, vegetables, rice vermicelli wrapped in rice paper
4. Rau muong stir fried river weed (morning glory) seasoned with garlic
5. Bahn koht dainty, little pancakes made of coconut milk, shrimp, mung beans and spring onions with dried shrimp flakes as topping
6. Nom hoa chuoi banana flowers, green papaya, carrots, cilantro and chicken with peanuts and salty fish sauce dressing
7. Bo la lot grilled ground beef wrapped in betel leaf
8. Ca tim kho to diced and sauteed eggplant with tomatoes, soy sauce, sugar and minced meat
9. Xoi glutinous rice mixed with chicken or pork and preserved eggs topped with dried shallots
10. Ga nuong barbecued honey marinated chicken legs, wings and feet
11. Com chay (vegetarian) rice crispies with mock meat like fake rubbery snails
12. Banh mi baguette filled with cheese, cold cuts, pickled vegetables, sausage, fried egg, fresh cilantro and chili sauce
13. Dau phu sot ca chua (tofu in tomato sauce) fried soy in fresh tomato and spring onion coating, seasoned with fresh herbs