Tuesday, January 26, 2016

What Did I Eat in Vietnam?

I was looking forward to Vietnamese food for the entirety of my trip. In Malaysia, in Thailand, even in Laos I had to stop myself from going to Vietnamese restaurants because I just didn’t want to wait until I was actually in Vietnam. Well, the wait did pay off and I was in food heaven.

  1. Food I wished I had but didn't:  Rice noodle dishes besides Pho.
  2. Food I had but wished I didn't: Chicken rice. It's dry and sauce-less and doesn't compare to Thailand or Singapore. 
  3. What should have been on the list: Regional foods - they very so much from north to south. 
  4. Biggest surprise: The sheer variety of banh mi.
  5. Most delicious meal: Ca Cha La Vong. It was also the most expensive meal ($30 USD). Even though I didn't go to the famous restaurant, I still had a great time. 

Banh Mi
Usually costing no more than $1, banh mi are available throughout the country, with slight differences in regional variety. I enjoyed sampling them from north to south.

Another Vietnamese staple best enjoyed on the street, but also available in many cafés. Beef Pho is by far the popular choice.

Chicken Rice
Vietnamese chicken rice is very different from that of Singapore or Thailand. Usually the chicken is shredded and eaten with onions, soy sauce, and a spicy red chilli paste.

Egg Tarts and Pastries
Vietnam has some pretty delicious pastries, particularly croissants and egg tarts, like the ones from Macao, which seem to be everywhere. Also, the Vietnamese have their own version of Thai Milk Toast, which is just a baguette with condensed milk. 

Regional food of Hanoi: Ca Cha La Vong
Fish with Tamarind spice, eaten eith onions, cilantro, soy sauce, peanuts, and chili.

Regional food of Hue: 
Bun Bo Hue
This spicy noodle soup has two versions: the authentic one, and the tourist one. After trying this dish at 4 locations in Hue, only once was I given the authentic version, which includes blood cake and fat, and other awesome parts of the pork. The tourist version is less spicy and includes strips of pork with no blood or fat. Lame.

Regional food of Hoi An: 
Mi Quang noodles, White Rose, and Cao Lau
Hoi An has several famous foods which are great and can be found all over the town. 

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