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/
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..
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.And 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.
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.
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.
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..
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..
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.
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..yummmmmm
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 !
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.