Archive for September, 2013

I had to catch a flight back to KL in the next few hours and before sending me off to the airport, Mr Host  had to feed me first lah.. We stopped by at Quan An 18.  We sat by the river, or maybe I should call it a swamp instead, the water seemed stationary and sometimes when the wind change direction which luckily wasn’t very often,  we get a bit of a pong.swampy

Mr Host did the ordering, and while was having the discussion with the waiters,  me and Mr Driver had some titbits. Mr Driver was also busy playing Candy Crunch at the same time, and he was already at a 300+ level, while yours truly was only at ..err…so as not to embarrass myself I should not say too much ..sufficient to say that it was at a much lower level, enough said.tit bits

The setting at Quan An was nice, attap roofs and all..setting

The menu was multilingual – English, Vietnamese and Chinese, although I was rather confused by what they meant by  Food to fry, distil, disintegration ..menu

For drinks Mr Host had a Sarsisarsi

While I ordered  a coconut, which turned out to be a very aged fella.. it was so old, I was expected toddy from the coconut lah..er..not that one could get toddy from coconut, but you know what I mean ( I hope)coconut

We had pickles  for appetizers , these were rather good, sour and crunchypickles

Grilled pork ribs- this were a bit sweetish, kind of like charsiu and wow..the meat was tender, the flavour was great plus with that char-ish aroma. This was a winnergrilled pork

Blanched pumpkin leaves, before these were dipped in a bit of a soy sauce, healthy ! which made me feel less guilty for eating that additional piece of grilled pork.vege

Mushrooms in tin foil – we had the same dish a few days ago too, but this one tasted the best. Apart from the mushrooms, there were capsicum, some chili and fresh peppers which I liked and hadn’t had in a long time.mushroomThe mushrooms can be eaten with the deep fried crispy noodles, just soften the noodles with a bit of the gravy from the mushrooms.mushrooms noodles

Mushroom soup- mushrooms with tofu, the soup was peppery, not bad really. The reason we had so many vegetable dishes was because Mr Host was a vegetarian for this particular day.soup

Lemongrass chicken – this tasted like a combination of a curry and satay flavour , which was rather rice.  chicken

Overall, an enjoyable meal plus a pleasant environmentGarden

Location :address

Dinner time day 2, went for a walkabout but before I could venture far, it started to drizzle, saw an eatery across the road that looked about right. Ran across the road,  had a brief flick at the menu outside the shop and a peep at the people dining inside – ok, looked like a place where  the average locals are eating  and the prices looked reasonable…Com Tam Cali – Cali Broken Rice Restaurant Chain http://www.comtamcali.com/menu Cali

The setting at Cali was pleasantsetting cali

I decided to go for the Broken rice set with 5 toppings , which included bbq pork, shredded pork & skin , pork pie , quail eggs and shrimp + pork wrapped in beancurd skin for VND60,000. For drinks, I decided to have  a young coconut which kept me busy while waiting for the broken rice to be served..coconut

The broken rice set.. rather nicely presented .The rice set came with a bowl of vegetable soup as well. The bbq pork was tender and was well marinated, the pork pie was heavily flavoured with pepper- this was nice too, the shredded pork and skin wasn’t my favourite- it had a funny flavour to it which I do not particularly like, it was a bit like chewing on flavoured rubberbands. The shrimp + pork wrapped in beancurd skin was my favourite, the sweetness and flavour of the shrimp added to the flavour of the pork and what with the deep frying, this could not failed to being a winner. I think I made a good choice, the only regret was that, aiya..i should have tried the set with the seven topping instead…greedy greedy.rice setAnd that , folks, was dinner on the second night at Ho Chi Minh.

Now let’s talk about the  dinner at  Hung Hanh in Bin Duong – it was after a day of work and traveling, ( well, I have to say that I earned my dinner mah) and for dinner -we decide to go for seafood. It was about 5:30pm when we drove into Hung Hanh but there were already quite a large number of people sitting and eating ( well, it is 6:30 back in KL, so my stomach was ok for food, come to think about it, my stomach is ready for food 24 hours a day). Mostly were people in work uniforms from the nearby factories. One could choose to sit indoors or outdoors, we were not too sure about the weather and decide to sit indoors.  530

A standard set of utensils, dessert ( rambutan- in this case, which we later exchanged for another fruit..) and one of the dipping sauce : lime, salt and chili..squeeze the lime and mix ‘em up..coooo..this woke me up mannn.bowls

While the hosts were ordering food, another waiter came by and dropped a crate of beer on the chair beside our table, wow, are the four of us going to finish all this ?beer

They don’t provide  ice cubes, but rather like large ice cylinders, these would go into your beer…yes, we drink beer with ice cubes, i mean ice cylinders in Vietnam..the weather is too warm, beer won’t remain cold without the ice.ice bucket

First up, the waitress came by with a bowl of porridge, which resulted in a bit of a commotion and this was sent back. According to my hosts- the porridge was supposed to come last ! Anyway, after all that excitement, our first dish finally arrived, baked oysters with garlic, spring onions and sauce. The oysters weren’t that large but some of them were a bit tough and needed a bit of a chew, but the taste was yumyum yummy..oysters

Roasted sea snails ( ? not sure should these be termed as snails..i know how to eat only lah !) , my ‘digging’ skills weren’t that great as I keep on getting only half of the ‘snail’ out from the shell, the fleshy meat was later dipped in a spicy sauce..ah..loverly..sea snails

Crabs with lots of onions coated in a thick sauce. The sauce was just coating the crabs but had not got into the crabs, the crabs tasted like they have been grilled and the meat can be a bit dry, the sauce looked potent but I find it rather bland, maybe that was why there was another sauce to dip the crabs too.crabs

Next dish : grilled fish on skewers, I wasn’t sure what to do with these, i.e. do I eat them whole , head , bones , tail and all ? So I waited and see what the others did with this.  Oh..ok, you don’t eat everything ! The fish were very fresh, this was delicious and you get bits of char when you bite into the fish which add to the aroma..yummmmmmfish

Then the porridge finally made it to our table. The porridge was peppery and the mussels add a sweetness to it, the porridge was light which made it very easy to be able to sneak in between the space and crevices of the crabs, oysters, snails, fish and beer in my stomach. This was delicious !porridge

Our dessert was this fruit ( we exchanged this with the rambutans)  that had the texture of an apple although the taste was rather different.apple

Overall an enjoyable meal , the bill came up to VND 735000 ~ RM110 which was rather reasonable. And at the end of the day we only did 6 bottles of beer between us. This was what the place look like at about 6:30pm..it was almost running at full house.630

Location :

HH

address

Day 2 – Did some customer visits around Binh Duong  , had a few bouts of discussions, tick tock tick tock..time for lunch ! We drove towards a rubberwood plantation..ekkk ..are we going to hunt for our own lunch ka ? Then a few  pusing pusing here and there..voila..we arrived at an opening and a gate to a restaurant . And this was just one of them, there were several other eateries along the road too..ba kiaIt is not everyday that one get to eat in such an environment..great huh ?trees

The trees, the river, the sky, the clouds…and don’t forget the fishes..(the ones in the river, not on the table lah)river

While waiting for the food to be served , we enjoyed some plump cashew nuts  …yummycashew nuts

First up – shellfish with lemongrass.. good food do not have to be complicated. The refreshing aroma of lemongrass plus the sweetness of the fresh shell fish..ahh..wonderful..shells

Tofu and mushrooms in aluminium packet – there were 3 different types of mushroom in the goodie bag. The steaming released the juice of the mushrooms which add to the tastiness of the gravy..tofuA lady then came buy to sell lottery tickets, in the picture below, you see my host check the list of winning numbers against the tickets that he bought yesterday… and no, he didn’t get it so…he bought another set of tickets, each ticket costs 10,000 Dong, which is about RM3.

Stirfried sea thingies—should I call them conches ? sea snails ? I had to push the toothpick into the orifice and then wrestle for a bit and try my best to extract the organism in one whole piece..quite an art , but well worth the effort !snailsAnother lady lottery seller came by, my host politely  told her that we have already brought all the tickets we need for the day..

Soup with chicken and sour vegetables- I have grown some fondness for the Vietnamese sour vegetable soup..nicesoup

Our meal was again disrupted by another lottery, this time a young kid, my host couldn’t find it in his heart to reject the boy, so he bought another set of tickets. I asked the boy permission to take a photo- he asked if I was American..childGrilled beef – the thin slices of beet were lightly grilled to be just cooked. The meat was chewy but not tough , this was lightly sprinkled with pepper which enhanced the natural flavour of the beef. Nice..beef

Then it started to drizzle..drizzle

And then  we were , for the fourth time  visited by a lottery seller, this time -an old man. He somehow reminded me of Uncle Ho Chi Minh. My host politely told him that we have already brought our fair share of tickets for the day and will not be buying any from him, but invited him to join us for tea while waiting for the rain to stop. I was deeply touched by this kind gesture..’Uncle Ho’ sat down and had a few cuppa tea with us

We then ordered some fruits for dessert.  Pamelos and these small cherry thingy. It has a crunchy texture .The red ( ripe) ones were sweet. There are 3 seeds in each fruit which made it a bit messy to eatfruits

Overall, an enjoyable meal as well as a ‘feel good’ meal, i felt a new kind of respect for my host…

location :address