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Monday, August 11, 2014

The stories about my three sticky rice's street vendors

When I was a little boy, one of my favorite morning meal was the sticky rice, I can even list down now where I used to buy this popular breakfast. Let's me start with the newest story.

The today's story 
I have no idea how long this nice couple, selling sticky rice here, in Ton That Tung street, near to the junction of Bui Thi Xuan street. It could be 20 years or even more, but my first time to buy from them was around 10-12 years ago!

            

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Riding a bicycle across Phong Nha...

Who follow my blog, still probably remember last April I came back from my lifetime adventure in Son Doong cave...That was simply amazing, I have no words to describe, and no any photos or video could tell you what I really saw or felt in there. I'd love to recommend anyone who could go, just go. It's worth much more than whatever you can imagine!

Today I just share some photos I took before heading to Son Doong. It was in Phong Nha Ke Bang, 40 km away from Đồng Hới. I was there in mid April, the weather was perfect but a week later, after the caving expedition, I felt very hot, probably because I still obsessed with the cool air in the cave!

              This photo was taken right after I arrived to Phong Nha, standing in Oxalis office. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Big noodles with snakehead fish (bánh canh cá lóc)

It was the first time, after almost a decade, I was traveling with my old colleagues-friends. It was a big fun and we all realised - we were the same as in the old days but without the stressful work. I wonder why it took us so long to make time and to travel together?
This time was the birthday party at our friend's place - a farmhouse in Dong Nai. We had a long day, from early morning to late at night, to share all kinds of stories, to laugh and to remember the golden moments in our life.

Our friend's house located by the lake but unluckily we couldn't use his boat due to the falling of the water in the lake and the boat motor ...in the maintenance! Anyway we found another things to enjoy there - having coffee at a quite big and nice place, eating out while waiting for the big party in the evening.

We tried the "big noodles" with snakehead fish - opposite the market Vinh An in Trị An, in Saigon we have a plenty of popular places where they serve big noodles (I used to call it "udon") either with a knuckle of pork, or with crab...but with fish, snakehead fish... it was my first time!

                   Big noodles with snakehead fish - bánh canh cá lóc in Trị An 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The traditional bánh xèo at vegetarian restaurant - Liên Hương

I just wrote my first preview on my probably first vegetarian meal at my old colleague's restaurant last week, and yesterday with him I decided to discover another place, famous for their vegetarian noodles and vegetarian "bánh xèo". Whenever I think about vegetarian cuisine, ingredients...I always limit myself within certain dishes that I really love like the deep fried tofu covered in chopped lemongrass or my all-time favourire pumpkin soup with banana, sweet potato, peanut cooked in very tasty coconut milk. I know there is a long list of vegetarian dishes but I didn't expect what we  tried yesterday at Liên Hương - their signature dish - "vegetarian bánh xèo".   

           Vegetarian bánh xèo - looks exactly the same, the dipping pineapple sauce was amazing

Friday, July 11, 2014

Vegetarian lunch at 380 Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa

When I was kid, every time I heard about "ăn chay", i.e "vegetarian eating", I always associated with some rituals in Buddhism, it's also very common in Vietnam some people have vegetarian meal twice a month, by the lunar calendar, the first and the middle day (I guess!). Or it could be a case when someone has a certain strong wish, they commit themselves to "one moth vegetarian eating" or even a year long if the wish came true (or maybe not!) It's like a thanking act to the Superior.

Nowadays due to the high demand for the healthy food, for being healthier physically and mentally, people simply think about vegetarian as the best alternative...or they just go there without any reason. I don't know how rich is the selection of vegetarian eating spots in Saigon - I've been to a place managed only by monks, quite nice even they do the wedding ceremonies there. I also saw some expensive place, nice decoration, creatively attractive menu, but today my place was simple - just a place of my old colleague, who tried to run a business with his best friend - a very good chef in vegetarian cuisine.


The place, the atmosphere are nicely simple, I like the beautiful photos of Lotus on the wall, like a small collection of the Lotus's beauty - the Buddhism's flower.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Traditional sticky rice cakes wrapped in leaves

One of my first posts on this blog was about popular Vietnamese sticky rice cakes wrapped in different kinds of leaves, we have typical cakes for Lunar New Year, or other festival occasions. I never check in details how many kinds of cake we have, how we name them according to the different areas, provinces, traditions...but I'm sure the list could be long enough to remember.

By chance I found this street vendor at the Hoa Binh market in district 5, not far from my place, she's selling several kinds of cakes: from the famous "bánh tét" filled with banana (my all time favourite!), with sweet green mung bean, or green mung bean with meat without fat or with fat, "bánh ít", "bánh bá trạng", bánh cúng nước cốt dừa"...I tried them all, and I have to say they are very good, very tasty and rich of coconut flavour, because this vendor from Bến Tre - the land of coconut trees, famous with their coconut candies.

          Dì Tư Hà - from Bến Tre with her cakes wrapped in leaves in Hòa Bình market, early in the morning. 

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Mexican food in Saigon at Khói Thơm

I'm sorry that I don't have much posts about eating out, good food in Saigon these days. Over the past few months Saigon is burning, it's too hot, so going out, eating out is no longer a pleasure. Is it a good excuse? Or maybe I'm just lazy, especially before and after my adventure to Son Doong, the beauty of the world's largest cave still "obsessed" me probably more than any food out there in the street!

                  "Khói Thơm" - a Mexican restaurant in Saigon, it was empty during Saturday lunch time.

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