I was told the night before that we will have a longer drive today, the driver will pick me up at an earlier time tomorrow. As Vietnam time is one hour later than Malaysia, psychologically- a 7:30 pick up time meant that it was already 8:30 in Malaysia, so, it was nothing to worry about, the only worrying thing was how to cross the sea of motorbikes to get to the car parked across the road…helppppp….
This was the first time that I was staying at the Vien Dong Hotel at Pham Ngu Lao Street. Apart from the traffic jams on this road, the hotel faced a park and I found out the hard way that Vietnamese are early risers- even at an unheavenly hour of 4:30a.m the park was already busy with people, and some announcement / music over the loudspeaker, not to mention the honking tour busses that use this as a stop to pick up the passengers. Although the room was huge, modern and comfy, if was not soundproof and I could hear the traffic, honks and music from across the Park, The road that the hotel is at is the centre of the touristy area- to me, this is a place to avoid !
Anyway, back to the subject of food….after a few visits to the customers in Bihn Phouc – which I learned from Wikipedia – a province in Vietnam , located in the southeastern region of the country , to the north of Ho Chi Minh City and It shares a border with Cambodia..It was time for lunch and after some discussion amongst my two host, from the main road we drove into a small lane which expend later into a resort-like environment complete with attap huts
First dish , this was something like stewed fish ( if I was not mistaken, it was something like the cat fish) with fatty pork. An interesting combination – mixing pork with fish but happy to note that it worked ! the dish was cooked in some black sauce plus a heavy dose of pepper and chilies , taste wise- kinda sweetish with a tinge of spiciness. The fish was fresh and smooth and the pork was fat and tender. Nice combination !
Steamed / blanched vegetable- I am not sure what sort of vegetable this was- maybe pumpkin shoots ? it was soft, not too heavy on the ‘greenish’ flavour, the Vietnamese were dipping this into the chili sauce before eating it, but I prefer it as it isThere was a fish pond beside our ‘hut’.. peaceful and Zen-ish..while we enjoy our lunch
Grilled pork – The cooking method was very basic, which brought out the rawness ( not in terms of the meat being raw but meant that as in err..simplistic) and wholesomeness of the meat, some of the pieces were really too tough for me, it was either to just forget the chewing and swallowing them whole , or consider defeat and leave them partially chewed on the table..But I have to admit these were good. If I was eating these at home, I could use my hand and tear at the meat like a ferocious hyena
Overall, an interesting meal.. and oh, sorry to report that I didn’t win any money from the lottery. Although Ms T did win something and exchange the winning ticket with more lotteries and distributed that around the table..so, I have another chance at winning the big prize tonight