Monday, October 8, 2012

Vietnom Nom Nom

Because visiting a new place isn't complete without trying out the local cuisine, I am sharing with you the things that ended up in my tummy while tramping Southern Vietnam. Everything here is delicious unless otherwise noted. :-) Warning: viewing too many photos of food will make you hungry.

We tried restaurants...
Eating in restaurants, we spent between Php 120 to 180 each.

271 Pham Ngu Lao Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
A bowl of pho in this place costs 40,000VND to 68,000VND (Php 80 to Php 136).

Pho bo (rice noodle soup with beef)
The veggies (right photo) give pho its flavor so dump everything in your bowl. Okay, not everything, your bowl might overflow. You can skip the chilies if you're afraid of going red and teary eyed, and don't want to gulp down a gallon of water.

Fried shrimp roll (forgot to take note of its Vietnamese name)
This was really good that the plate was bare in just 60 seconds.
Or maybe we were just really hungry and this was the first one to be served.

Banh flan (creme caramel) and Sua chua (yogurt)
The banh flan should be renamed blandh flan. It's like a very bland leche flan.
If you like yogurt then you won't go wrong with the sua chua.

Dai Hoang Long
173 Pham Ngu Lao Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
The dishes we ordered were priced from 40,000VND to 65,000VND (Php 80 to Php 130). Very affordable considering its portion size. A cup of plain rice costs 5,000VND (Php 10).

Cha gio bon tiem (house special spring roll) and Mi xao gion do biem (crispy fried noodles with seafood)

 Tom rang muoi rang me (prawns with tamarind) and Com chien dac biet (special fried rice)

Minh Duc
35 Ton That Tung Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Clockwise from left: roasted pork, tom rim thit (shrimp), canh chua ca bong lau (sour fish soup), and rau muong xao (sauteed spinach). These, plus four servings of rice and four drinks, totaled to 338,000VND (Php 676).

Lam Tong Quan
92 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Ham Tien, Mui Ne, Phan Tiet
Looking for seafood? This is the place to be. Only if you're in Mui Ne.

Muc xao sa ot (grilled squid with chili and lemongrass) and Tom hap bia (steamed shrimp in beer)

Goi ca (fish salad)

Dau hu kho to (tofu cooked in pepper in a claypot) and Chay gio tuoi (fresh spring roll)
This dinner was shared between five people. Total bill was 447,000VND (Php 894) including drinks.

Nha Hang Khoi
125 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Ham Tien, Mui Ne, Phan Tiet

 Banh xeo hai san (pancake with seafood and vegetables)

Ca nuong sot me (grilled fish with tamarind sauce)

Pho ga (rice noodle soup with chicken)
I think the pho bo (beef) is tastier.
Lunch shared with two friends cost us 210,000VND (Php 420).

Munched on the road...
During stopovers we looked around for something to eat.

I don't know what this is called but it looked good.
We named it siobud. Siopao na budbud. It has pork and egg in it.
It only costs 5,000VND (Php 10).

Crispy nougat with peanuts. Very sweet. Must wash away the sugar with lots of water.
Sold at a bus stop for 25,000VND (Php 50) for a pack (5 pieces). Tourist price.

Roasted pork with rice. Comes with soup and vegetables.
50,000VND (Php 100). What do you expect, it's the bus' regular stopover.
A busload of tourists? They will overprice all they want.

We had streetfood. Lots of it.
Streetfood is easy on the pocket: 5,000VND (snacks) to 25,000VND (noodles) (Php 10 to Php 50).

This one's like a mini sponge cake roll.

 Crispy pancake with bits of veggies.

 Very coconut-ty mini pie.

Banh mi. Oh so good. Especially the ham they put in it. If you're a germaphobe (I made that up. I mean, if you're scared of germs), don't look when they make your sandwich. Most of them use their bare hands to make your sandwich and use the same two hands to receive your payment. Hehehe. A banh mi costs 15,000VND to 20,000VND (Php 30 to Php 40), depends on what's in it.

 Bun xao. It has ham, rice noodles, vegetables, peanuts, eggs, and fish sauce. Yum.

 Chao ga for 15,000VND (Php 30). Chicken porridge. Similar to arroz caldo.

Hu tieu heo is rice noodles (yes, the ever present rice noodles) soup with pork. 25,000VND (Php 50).

Banh uot consists of rice noodles, pork, vegetables, and fish sauce.
A yummy choice for just 25,000VND (Php 50).

Hu tieu le duong. I love the dumplings in this dish! And this is very cheap: 15,000VND (Php 30).

Clockwise from top left: appetizer (ham, dumplings, fried sweet potato), sticky rice, shrimp in pineapple, soup, beef, vegetables with mushrooms, and chicken. I don't know the names of the dishes but it was all very delicious. I especially liked the appetizers, sticky rice, and the shrimp in pineapple.

Some snacks...

Banh quai vac tom thit. Spicy salty shrimp dumpling. Very tasty.
Bought from a vendor at the red sand dunes in Mui Ne. You should try it when you're in Mui Ne.

I like this. It tastes like barquillos with sesame seeds. 10,000VND (Php 20) for a pack.

Three flavored jelly we found at the market in Duc Trong.
Vanilla, chocolate, and I couldn't tell what flavor the lavender one is.

Ka Chi, another Couchsurfer I met in Vietnam, gave me a bag of banh trang cuon.
It's egg, dried shrimp, leafy greens, and scallions, topped with mayonnaise
and wrapped in (red!) rice paper.

And here's our favorite snack hands down. The absolutely delicious banh trang nuong (scallion pancakes).
I could eat ten more of these. I wish I ate ten more of these. It's just 7,000VND (Php 14) per piece.

And refreshments...

 Durian ice cream. I have never learned to love the fruit but this one's a-okay.

 Pick your ice cream flavors and toppings at Just 4 Teen in Da Lat.

Che da, their version of halo-halo, costs 9,000VND (Php 18).
It was simple (there were only four somethings in it) but I loved it. A refreshing mix.

We took a break from our Saigon stroll and had some refreshments at Cafe Terrace (65 Le Loi Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City). Yogurt with strawberry for me and iced drinks (passion fruit float, iced coffee, and I forgot the other one) for my pals. A pretty pricey place. If I remember right, these didn't go below 50,000VND (Php 100) each.

I usually don't get anything from a fastfood that can be found in the Philippines, but their KFC Krushers are different. They have "sparkling" drinks: mojitos and passion fruit for 19,000VND (Php 38) each.

Good old meals at Teo's home...

A giant bowl of pho bo for breakfast. I couldn't finish mine. It was huge.

Ga la giang for lunch. If you take a look at this menu from that lunch stopover on the way to Mui Ne, their English translation is "chicken soup is a lecturer." Will eating this make you a lecturer? Ga la giang is chicken soup with chicken heads (I didn't take a photo of it. It looked very strange seeing chicken skulls.) and very sticky noodles.

Wedding cake for dessert! It tasted like durian to us but Teo said the durian smell just stuck to it when it was put in the refrigerator with the fruit.

And some fruits too. Pomegranate and peaches. I love fresh peaches! I think I can transform my mouth into a machine gun with the pomegranate's countless seeds.

 For dinner we had steamed Chinese cabbage and beef steak.
Plus fried bananas and fried sweet potatoes for dessert.

And, not to forget, Vietnamese coffee.
Coffee drips from the mini filter/press. That's condensed milk at the bottom.
Coffee is everywhere in Vietnam. Cafes, restaurants, and on the streets.
A cup for as low was 10,000VND (Php 20).

Veni, Vidi, (South) Vietnam:
Do You...?
What's in a (Business) Name? Vietnam
Bed Hopping
Adopting a Fellow Traveler
Strolling Saigon
From Concrete City to Sand Town
From Sand Town to the Highlands
Would You Call Us Lucky or Unlucky?
Wedding Crashers
Vietnom Nom Nom (you're here!)
Ding Dong, Dong's All Gone


  1. OMG. Is that even possible to fit all that food in your tiny little stomach, Mustachio? You really had a feast. You made me hungry looking at all those photos! :)