Sunday, 1 June 2008

Saigon, Saigon

I had always had high expectations of Vietnam, especially its food. I suppose this has come about from so many people I know coming here and raving about it so much. 

I have passed through Bangkok so many times over the years, and it is quite baffling that it has taken me so long to come to Vietnam. But as they say, good things come to those who wait. 

We entered Vietnam from Cambodia. So Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City was our first stop. It is a really busy city, lots of life, great vibes. Shame there are 5,000,000 moto's ploughing the roads at high speeds. Makes crossing the road an interesting past time.

After a delayed check in to our hotel, and my first taste of Vietnamese Coffee and several bananas, we ventured onto the streets of Saigon. 

After seeing a lot of places catering for tourists, doing western food we were in need of something filling, but not too heavy. 

We wandered down a small alleyway and came across a small restaurant with an open kitchen on one side of the alley and the tables on the other side. Now if a restaurant is brave enough to let you stand there and watch your food being cooked, then it can't be all bad. 

So we took a table and ordered 2 bottles of Bia Saigon. Much needed refreshment. 

We ordered some fresh Salad Rolls, Lotus Root Salad and Pork with Lemongrass and chilli (which I have eaten now several times and is fast becoming a personal favourite.) 

When we bit into the Salad Rolls, the first thing we tasted were the fresh herbs. This is how I expected them to be, and we were not let down. 

The Lotus Root Salad was similar to Green Papaya Salad, but without the heat. of its Thai cousin. Really really good. 

The Pork and Lemongrass & Chilli, as I said before is fast becoming a favourite of mine. Seem to be having it everywhere. It's the combination of minced lemongrass and chilli that drives my taste buds mad. Simply Delicious. 

Walking around the markets, you can see the amazing fresh produce, this for me is what makes Vietnam such an exciting culinary destination. I for one and going to eat my way through it.

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