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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

...Hum - vegetarian lounge in Saigon

What does it mean "Hum"? I was explained - "Hum" should be pronounced as "Um" and it's one of  a famous six-syllabled Sanskrit mantra "Om mani padme hum", which means "a jewel in sacred lotus", but "Hum" still means "wisdom". And according to one of my "wise" nieces, we can say this phrase or mantra when we are seeing "ghost"! So remember it at heart!

Anyway "Hum" is a quite popular upscale vegetarian lounge-restaurant in Saigon. I said "upscale", probably because of their good location, tasteful decorations, and especially their charming service and the food quality, and, of course, the bill at the end! 

                          A jewel in sacred lotus - Lotus rice, one of Hum's signature dishes.   

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Goddess, the Fermented Fish & my journey to Sam Mountain in Châu Đốc

The Goddess (the Goddess of the Prosperity, or The Lady of The Realm and in Vietnamese as we call "Bà Chúa Xứ" and the famous fermented fish - these two special things from Châu Đốc - a province in South of Vietnam, near to Cambodia. No any relationship between these two. The Lady of The Realm - she absolutely was not the creator of the fermented fish - the popular traditional dish especially in South.

              Fermented fish - a speciality from Châu Đốc, a province near to the bother with Cambodia.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Mercato Centrale - Central market in Florence (Italy)

I left Verona early in the morning and arrived to Florence long before noon - the check-in time. The hotel I booked on booking.com was very near to the railway station, but following my google map, I made almost a whole round in the old quarter before reaching the hotel. Later standing at the hotel entrance - I realised what I need to do was just to cross the street from the rail station to reach the hotel! Genius Google map!?

The lady at the reception was so nice, even though my room was not ready yet, while waiting she kindly offered a breakfast, even a shower if I want to refresh. I did have a good breakfast in Verona, so I took only a cup of hot tea with a cake. Left my luggages with the reception, I decided to go out.  

                  All specialities of Tuscany cuisine can be found in Central Market in Florence. 

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Venice - an exhausted afternoon (part 2)

Venice is famous to the whole world, super easy to find million and million photos, videos about this glorious city on the net, and I was happy to capture Venice - not its splendid side but the routine, the peaceful moment, when there was no one around. But if the morning was so free from any disturbance, the afternoon was the contrast, the different picture - around noon Venice was quickly occupied, or better say, invaded by thousand and thousand of visitors. It was in mid September - not the high season but the crowd - unbelievable everywhere!

                The famous scenery - Grand Canal with Rialto bridge and traditional gondole...

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Noodles with cuttlefish (Hủ tiếu mực)

One of my friends asked me to try this noodles for several times, but by some how I didn't decide when as it's quite far from my place - in Phú Nhuận district and they do serve this cuttlefish noodles only in the morning for breakfast! Do I need to go that far only for the noodles?
But actually one of the reasons I didn't go yet because I thought it would be the way they prepare the soup noodles with the dried cuttlefish, as many places do, to get a natural sweet taste! But not, I was wrong!

                     Noodles with fresh cuttlefish, shrimp, meat ball...taste amazing! 

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Panzerotti - bánh quai vạc in Italian style

When I stayed for a few days in Verona (Italy), one morning when I passed by some bread shop, saw a cake which remind me our popular deep-fried cake in half-moon shape - bánh quai vạc (or bánh xếp, bánh gối). I was really curious and loved to taste it. It's called "panzerotti" - a traditional deep-fried cake from Bari. Very similar to our bánh quai vạc but much bigger, almost double, triple in size and the filling was purely Italian : mozzarella, sausage, tomato sauce...

                      Panzerotti in the middle - on left and right of the shelf display in Verona (Italy)  

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My unusual quiet morning in the greatest city - Venice (Part 1)

While making a travel plan, I decided to stay 3 nights in Verona, as I will take a train from Verona to Venice, it takes only one hour and half in route, I'll go back to Verona at night. And if I like Venice, I still can go back there the following day. In fact I didn't return to Venice the next day! Why? Venice is not that beautiful? Venice is not like a greatest destination as people often say?

Don't get me wrong! It was good for me to be there, even very good...but to me, somehow I feel Venice seemly didn't have something that I used to imagine. Anyway, Venice is very unique, very photogenic... People gave different names to this old town on water: City of masks, City of bridges, City of canals, The Floating City, the Love's Holy Land...and I would call Venice as "always-overcrowded-old-town-on water"  


                              I want to see Venice in its true daily routine life, free of the crowds of tourists.

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