Friday, October 07, 2016

Snails, snails and Bà Cô Lốc Cốc

Vietnamese love snails! I hope it's not coming from a famous French tradition. Actually I have no idea since when we love snails. I remember my mom, she loved eating those small snails, we called "ốc gạo" (rice snail, probably because of their tiny size) with a...needle, we need a needle in order to take those little green meats out from the shell and dip it in incredibly tasty "sugar-sweet, lemon-sour, pepper-spicy fish sauce". When I was a kid, I probably prefer to taste the sauce much more than the snail.

Later my mom also loved the other snail dish "ốc len xào dừa" (mud creeper in coconut sauce). I also like it...because of the super tasty sauce, but this time I could enjoy the snail, partly due to the unique way of eating this snail. Blow and suck it!

                      Bà Cô Lốc Cốc - a snail restaurant in Saigon...

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Most expensive "broken rice" in Sài Gòn!

"Broken rice" or cơm tấm in Vietnamese is one of the most popular, favourite breakfasts for many Vietnamese in Saigon. If before "Cơm tấm" was like a morning meal,  but nowadays we have "night broken rice" for young nigh crawlers. They open very late at night, close just before the sunrise.

When I was a kid, how much I loved sitting on the low chair, on sidewalk, waiting for the "cơm tấm" vendor to open the huge container of freshly cooked broken rice, just to smell its fragrance and the other thing, also very important was the "fish sauce", I couldn't remember the taste in the old days, but remember at that time cơm tấm mostly served with typical "the egg cake", the shredded pork's skin...and that was good enough for me!

                              Cơm tấm Nguyễn văn Cừ is famous for their grilled pork ribs...

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Porridge with Singaporean style

I used to work for a mobile phone company, our regional headquarter was based in Singapore, so this small island but so well-developed became like my second workplace. Regardless of my countless trips to Singapore, I didn't explore this island well enough - their culture, their traditions and especially their cuisine!
My Singaporean colleagues or friends from time to time took me to different places for different meals. I still remember their favourite squids stirred (or deep-fried) in dark black-pepper sauce (?), simple but very yummy traditional kaya toast sandwich... and famous chicken rice at some luxury hotel! That was all my pour eating experience in Singapore!

                      The chef-owner is a friend of my friend, preparing the frogs 

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Chinese sticky rice cake - "bánh Khuất Nguyên" for Đoan Ngọ festival.

I did notice this "Chinese sticky rice cake" for quite some time as I pass by the store everyday and probably because of my love to our traditional sticky rice cake. We usually call it "bánh ú" (literally "fat cake' due to its "big size", but for special occasion of the 5th of May by Lunar calendar - a Vietnamese version of Chinese Duanwu festival, the festival of the half of a year, they call this "fat cake" either "Bánh bá trạng" or more formally - "Bánh Khuất Nguyên" (after a name of the famous Chinese poet - Qu Yuan)

                   Chinese sticky rice cake or as we call "bánh ú" - the fat cake! 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Rice noodles with mushroom, fish cake and tofu

When I asked my friend where it originally comes from - this rice noodles with mushrooms, fish cake and tofu ? He said "It created by the chef-owner". Ok. But I still tried to figure out how the owner came up with the idea - to add mushrooms, tofu to this fish cake rice noodles.

 Squeezing some lemon juice, adding a spoon of lemongrass pate to the noodles, it made tastier 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Zoo - my day out in Zurich!

Zoo - in Vietnamese, we call "Thảo Cầm Viên", or just simply "Sở Thú". Everyone surely has some unforgettable memories with Zoo, especially in the childhood. I, myself, have a lot of with Zoo! My mom used to take her students to our hundred-year-old Zoo in Saigon, and I was always one of them.
Those sweet memories when I, being a Boy Scout, performed a dance "Sur le pont d'Avignon" in celebration of some event of the Boy Scout Association, right in the Zoo! Or when I stupidly stepped into a garden pond fully covered with tiny water lettuces, I simply confused it with the grass! Today our Zoo sadly no longer as the one as I remember in its glorious years.

                     Many birds enjoy the freedom in the nature, friendly with visitors  

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Alma Oasis - a luxury hideaway resort & spa in Long Hải

Only 20km away from Vũng Tàu, Long Hải, in the very old days, was a final stop for me - a five-year-old boy's "accidental adventure" when our father, in fighting with mom, left me and my elder brother at some stranger's house in Long Hải for a week. We lived in a tiny room, without toilet, so I still remember in order to do our things we woke up early in the morning and did it on the white sandy beach, the sea water was our magic paper...Later we were "rescued" and I came back home, like a little monkey, starving for long! That was all remained in my mind, the rest of the story was fading away...with time!

                      Alma Oasis - a beautiful hideaway resort in Long Hải 

I just came back to Long Hải for a very first time and, of course, there is nothing that could remind me of the old wild days. Everything has changed. We got a friend who works for Alma Oasis, so we were able to book a lovely "villa-on-the-hill" for one night with a good rate!

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