After the great success of the last food tour inauguration, it was time to take things to the next level, and go check out the new circuit that was put in place about a month ago over here.
Just as last time, we started off by the well know 30 000 VDN Banh Mi place in district one, and all gathered for a bite of this gigantic peace of goodie.
After this little snack, we headed off to District 3.
Now, I have to say, for a minute there (well no, during the whole tour actually!), I had no clue where I was!! I thought I knew Saigon overall, but that was quite a silly thing to think! And that is just wonderful. Therefore, not only do you get to discover some yummy food, but you discover Saigon differently.
When I first got here 4 month ago and had not yet « 2 wheeled » myself, I had walked for the Airport area to down town. It had taken me a good 2 hours, but that’s also because I’d stop every so often and take photos. I had taken an endless number a tiny alleys, and had gotten a glimpse of the « real Saigon », at least the one where the locals just live their lives as they do. I had loved this little stroll, and I’m quite happy to have done it as the occasion of walking around in the city hardly ever happens now… So I got a taste of this « hidden » Saigon all over again, and it’s just awesome!!
Near the canal, you’ll find a pancake joint. Everything is cooked on order, so you can be sure to eat super hot and straight off the pan.
We got to try both sort of available ones: the small ones with eggs and prawns, and the big one, with the soya beans.
Form what our dear tour guide Duy said, you eat those little « things » with all kind of greenery. As the pancake is quite oily, the goal is to wrap it just like a spring roll in a salad leaf, and lots of herbs as well as grated yellow mango. Once your little viet burito is done, you have a good amount of choice in the sauce you want to dip it in. You’ve got more of a sweat tooth? Fear not, there’s just what you need. You don’t fancy sweat? Don’t you worry, you’ve got some nice salty ones as well!
So grab a stool honestly, sit, order (you can also choose to have some soup but why wouldn’t you go for the house specialities hein?!), and just enjoy the food journey!
Once we’d all stuffed our happy faces with delight, we headed back to the District one, still through some secret and narrow alleys (I wish I could have stopped and taken snaps…), for some noodle soup, a Bun Bo Hue. (A noodle soup from Hue, that’s what to understand)
The place looks like any ordinary street food joint, but the « women of the house » is from Hue itself, so she pretty much knows what she’s cooking about.
Bun Bo Hue there for is the name of the soup. Bun is a spaghetti that looks like rice noodle, but is different for the noodles used in Pho.
Bo means beef and Hue, well that’s an easy one, it’s the City.
The broth is cooked for quite a long time with a lot of lemon grass, beef, and for the sweet taste, some pork bones.
The noodle is put outside at room temperature (to make it a bit fermented) then stir boil and serve with the broth, pork and shrimp sausages, saw tooth coriander, pork trotter.
So, what you also can understand is: it’s nothing like Pho.
What’s good about this place, especially if you are in town for the holidays, is that you get to taste another soup than the one legendary known as Pho!
As we were leaving it started pouring rain… Thank you rainy season! Yet, Food tour to the rescue, you get to experience what driving under the rain with those super fashionable rain coats feel like… Enjoy, we all know you’d never be spotted with one of those in your hometown!
In order to digest the feast and make space for the barbecue coming up, we head to the District 4’s night market for some fruits. It also allows us to get a sample of everything, and try new stuff!
The before last stop is a barbecue place, located in District 2 this time (we had gone to district 4 last time, but it was an open air terrace and the barbecue was put on the table, unlike here)
The drive is a bit long, but it also allows us to see how diverse the landscape, within Saigon, can be. From village looking alleys to huge modern buildings, highways to tiny houses… It’s a city made of cities.
We all take a seat, and enjoy the dishes as they come. The first one to make a « wow » entry is some sea food wrapped in aluminium foil that the waitress « pops open » in front of us. There’s some young tofu, squid, bell chillies, all sorts of mushrooms and carrots. A delight!
Of course, anywhere one goes MUST have the sautéed morning glory, with fried garlic… It’s for me a never ending amazing treat!
The chilli beef is amazingly flavourful, and marinated in a smart mix of spices, served with some lady fingers and some lettuce.
Then came another type of meet, more on the sweet and sour taste, with some capsicum and pineapple… You just chopstick your way in it again and again!!
So, my advice to you… Pick up the phone, send them a mail, put your helmet on and sit down to enjoy the show! You’ll just love every minute of it!