The hosts booked me into Vien Dong Hotel…@ USD80/nights inclusive of breakfast, while we were at the lobby..we were entertained by musicians and dancers..oh oh..this definitely smelled of a tourist hotel !
For starters, we had Vietnam House Sampler (VNM 129,000). Pork pie : the texture was like steamed egg with meat, the pie didn’t taste very porky-ish but was light and quite enjoyable. Papaya salad : this didn’t pack as much a punch as as the Thai version of som-tam. Fried spring roll : This came not mounted on the customary sugar cane stick but was yummy as usual. Charboiled Beef in ‘Lot’ leaves: Initially I thought the black covering was seaweed, turned out to be some kinda leaf, from my internet search Lot leaf = wild betel leaf, the leaf didn’t have much flavour which allow the flavour of the beef to shine through> this is my favourite amongst the four starters.
Pan fried shrimps and green rice raviolis (119,000 VND) : this was a pretty dish and am happy to report that this taste as good as it looked. The shrimp paste had that strong sweet flavour of shrimp and the texture soft yet firm. Can’t find any fault with this.
We had progressed with dinner although the Big Boss was caught in the Ho Chi Minh jam and had not yet arrived, so at this point, the waitress was asked to slow down the serving of the dishes…. ahh finally…Madam Boss had arrived and the dishes continue to fill our table..
Steam Grouper in bean paste : There were a lot of garnishing ( and bean paste) on the grouper that they almost seemed to drowned the fish…I was worried that the bean paste would make the fish over salty but luckily this was not the case. Due to the long wait for Madam Boss, the fish was slightly over cooked, which made the meat a bit tough, which was a pity as the fish was fresh and would have been smooth and sweet
Fried rice in lotus leaf : I couldn’t taste any infusion of the flavours from the leaf into the rice and I wasn’t sure was it due to our delay in getting the food on our table that result in the rice being a bit dry and the meat a bit tough and ‘old’ . This was so-so for me
Overall, an interesting meal