Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Vietnam - Random food

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This post may contain explicit content...

To be honest, my trip to Vietnam wasn't as fruitful as I had expected. In my mind, I was expecting some weird food stuff all over the streets, but it wasn't as impressive as I thought it should be.

Of course, there are one or two that we don't get to see back here, and it's also my curiosity that makes my tongue wag! Whenever I see food that I have never seen before, or something that we have back here, but is having a long queue or large group of people gathering around that stall, no doubt you will see my wallet flying out of my pocket.

A gentle note. Prices are not stated here because food is extremely cheap in Vietnam. Thus, not worth mentioning at all, as a bowl of noodle can only costs around 1.50 SGD.

We have no idea why, but it seems that the most Vietnam clams are "infertile"? We saw more shells than meat in all our clam dish. Or perhaps we are that unfortunate to have gotten those empty shells that the clam has left behind...

This is a common dish in Vietnam. Every restaurant I went to, and on the streets, people are selling this. To me, it seems to be vegetable springrolls, and what we normally termed as "popiah". It is different from the ones we have in Singapore, thus, I can only conclude that the vegetable they used is not to my liking.

One of my favourite food in Vietnam, Seafood Noodles! The reason is because it tasted like maggie mee stirred with butter, and it indeed is delicious! Kind of craving for this every now and then.. Probably I should try it at home?!

Well, I wouldn't say this is the best chicken I have eaten, but it is still acceptable, probably above average. Meat is soft, and sufficient soya sauce spread on it. But this dish took a well 60 minutes to be served, and with only another pair of couple dining in.

I have a vague memory of consuming escargots before. As much as I wanted to give it a try, none of my family members were keen to try it except for me. And the "good" thing is, the stallholder only sells in kilograms when I only intend to buy just one of it... Hence, I kind of walked away with disappointment.

Ate a small serving of quails accidentally. We enquired what was she frying, and with her little knowledge of English, she replied "bird". It didn't crossed my mind that it will be quail, but pigeons or any other birds.. It tasted like chicken, but meat is harder to bite, yet a little bouncy when chewing. Later on, we knew that it was quail from another native.

Quite clear cut that there is no picture of what is being "buried" within the bun, but a presentation like "Hey, I'm selling buns!". I tried asking what's in it, and probably the only English vocabulary she know is pork. But turned out to be some cellophane noodles, vegetables, and probably an egg for consolation. Well, I'm being cheated by a Vietnamese auntie.

This shot was taken in a rush as the stallholder was not keen in letting me snapping a photo of it. It seems to be like balut, which is a famous delicacy in the Philippines. Had ordered this dish before in Cebu, without knowing that its balut till we found that the egg is harder to bite than usual, and there seems to be black hairs in the egg. For awhile, we thought its duck egg... But we stopped, and knew from the crew that its balut. If you have viewed Numbnuts episode 2 before, I doubt you will ever want to order this unless you are the adventurous type, like me. But be warned, at times curiosity killed the cat.

Bought this fried corn dough, even though I knew how it's going to taste like. Perhaps I'm just curious on how different it would be from my expectation. Well, nothing special, but felt that the dough was too much, thus making it harder to chew and unable to enjoy the mashed corn filling. But with icing sugar topped on it, it does tasted a little better.

Chicken Kwey Tiauw can be seen everywhere in the streets and restaurants in Vietnam. Curious to see how it would taste like eating such common food by the street, I took the chance of getting myself into some sort of diarrhea. Luckily, I am fine after eating it, and it indeed tasted better than those cooked in restaurants. The savory soup, chewy kwey tiauw, and soft chicken meat slices is definitely more worthy than paying a higher price in restaurants.

Seems like our Singapore's "za cai fan" (杂菜饭)right? I was amazed to see a steady flow of students approaching her make-shift stall in the early morning before heading to school. Students crowded around her stall to order, and gradually some have to leave with a "blow" for not being early. Luckily for tourists like me, I came back awhile later to catch her 2nd round, as earlier she had to chase the students away due to her next batch of food still being raw. She uses sticky rice, and allows patrons to choose side dishes like braised pork belly, luncheon meat, fried/hard boiled egg, beancurd, etc. Simple meal, but now I know why she is receiving such high patronage early in the morning! Definitely a must for me to try it again if I'm there. And it's located within the market just directly opposite the Hanoi railway station.

This could be offensive to animal lovers. Dog meat being served in most places, and thus is not an uncommon dish there. Recently, I've accidentally seen some videos on how the dogs are being processed in the factories.. I actually felt sad seeing the head of the dog in such expression...... Can you imagine...?

Saw this scene in their wet market, and this was my first time seeing a live frog being sliced open right under my nose. You might not be able hear it in this video, but right on the spot, I did heard some squeaking sound when the frog was being sliced. I took a step back upon hearing it, in surprise and feeling uncomfortable.

Overall, the trip to Vietnam was not bad, and learnt quite some stuff such as the video above, living conditions of the natives, and the harsh traffic conditions in Vietnam that may actually results in deaths on a daily basis. This is one reason why I always prefer to travel to the outskirts of the country that I visit, as that is mostly where I can find peace and quietness, beautiful sceneries, far away from city, in the rural areas.

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