This is me.
All things Vietnamese... Part 2

For the past few days (or was it a week? What's the date today anyway?), I've been busy. Really.

I've been out with friends, cooking, doing errands, playing my violin, and other reasonable things to be doing in the real world. But in the back of my mind, the thought "I've got to make that blog post" has been niggling at me. Maybe writing on blogs read by almost nobody is a neurotic tendency. In other words, I must be neurotic.

The logic in the last two sentences must have been faulty, but I can't seem to figure out why.

Anyway, I'll hurry and finish writing this so I can move on to better and bigger topics (Cooking! Antics! Real life!), and calm myself in some psychologically obscure part of my personality.

The first restaurant that comes to mind is one named Restaurant Chateau (I think), and is a cozy little nook of more than three floors in Ho Chi Minh City. If you want to know how to get there, I am unfortunately unable to help you with that since I slept through the ride on the way there.

I think this restaurant would win Best Design or Most Creative if I had been giving out awards. The fact that I am not giving out awards is sad and beside the point.

I mean, look at their food (and don't pay attention to the humans).

dragon fried rice
Roosters and dragons populated our table in different edible forms. The first picture up there was of spring rolls & calamares aptly named "Appetizers", the second was a dessert of fresh fruits, and the third was some sort of fried rice. It was all good, actually, and that's all I have to say on it. I was horribly full when we began the meal anyway, so I don't think my taste buds or my stomach were really affected by the dishes. I was satisfied even before I began! And I don't like that.

The non-existent Strangest Dish Award goes to the "Great Ball of Rice" we had on one of the islands on the Mekong River. You've got to see it to believe it.

great ball of rice!
A real ball made of sticky rice fried to perfection. *gasp* Seriously, it was the first time I saw anything like it. Everyone in the group just had to take out our cameras; it was like celebrity food. We would have gotten autographs if it could write. OK, so that was pushing it a bit.

Seeing our looks of stupor and utter ignorance, the waitress poked it with a knife and it deflated like a hot air balloon. She then sliced it into small portions, and we each got a piece (or two depending on capacity). I didn't really like it; I thought it tasted just like... sticky rice. No real taste. But my mother adored it and scarfed down many pieces so I guess it all depends. Food is relative. (That was profound; I've got to store that bit of information for my grandchildren to mull over.)

Another wonderfully strange one was flambeed beef with onions. OK, so that didn't sound very unusual until a coconut arrived instead. While we looked on, liquor was poured over it and then lighted up by the ever helpful waiter. It was like a little bonfire.

The coconut's on fire!
It was then opened...

Buried treasure

beef and onions
Voila! Beef and onions. I don't think other places do it quite like that, and the beef and onions were quite tasty. The beef was soft and the onions weren't too strong. This was in a romantic little eatery whose name I forgot. It was about a block away from the Liberty restaurant (see previous post) though.

The same restaurant flambeed our bananas for us. Though I don't think the flames are really clear in the picture, just a violet afterthought.

flambeed bananas
It tasted warm and syrupy. There was an alcoholic aftertaste but that was to be expected. It was good.

Anyway, Vietnam seems to have a thing for stuffing food in coconuts. Here was our soup from Restaurant Chateau.

soupIt really surprised me. My first thought was "Is this soup?" Then I dug around in it a little and found that it was. There were pork cubes, potato cubes, carrot cubes, and some other cubed unidentifiable vegetables in clear fragrant broth. Oh, and the smell of cilantro, of course. The Vietnamese seem to adore cilantro, and it's good that I do too (though my sister and my mother detest the poor thing).

I love soup.

Well, so that ends my post. *claps excitedly and somersaults in her mind in a very teenyboppy way* Whew! Long but satisfying. Never will I mention Vietnamese food again. Well, that last sentence was the last time I planned on mentioning it. Of course, "nevers" are usually made to be broken while eating a pie of crow.

What does crow taste like?

Daisy on 5/15/2006 11:30:00 PM