(Banh Xeo is Mui Ne’s Specialty)
Of all the Southeast Asian countries I have been, Vietnam is the place I stayed in the longest, and for that I have been exposed to almost anything than just a first glance of a first time traveller. I have been to Vietnam four times in 2 years that I didn’t expect (that’s another long story).
Since I’m talking all about what fills me up, I would say in the total of one year in Vietnam I have tasted food that tasted like some of our own (Chinese influence), just like the spring rolls, fried rice, fried noodles, and stuff. I can say they are good, but I want to talk in a caterer’s point of view when it comes to the quality and taste of the human fuel. So here’s my top 5 fillers…
Banh Xeo – This is my all time favorite. It’s healthy, traditional, and pretty exciting to watch being cooked. Banh Xeo is a mix of mongo sprouts, spring onions, leeks, and your choice of meat or seafood wrapped in a freshly cooked coconut crepes. Best served with sugar cane vinegar. Really mouthwatering food!
Pho – If you haven’t encountered Pho, then you haven’t been to Vietnam. Pho is their noodle soup but they also have Bun Bo Hue (Hue City’s Specialty) which is also a good noodle soup. I asked my Vietnamese friend Trang what’s the difference between the two, she said the noodles. Pho is made of rice noodles and the other from flour, I love Pho Bo (Bo is beef; Ga is Chicken) and they’re normally served with different herbs like mint, Vietnamese basil, lime, sprouts, and chili garlic sate!
Local Sandwiches – Their local sandwiches are awesome, they use a locally made baguette (which is great! when are we gonna sell baguettes locally everywhere here in the Philippines?!). With choices of egg omellette, meat, cheese, tuna, or even combination of any of those added with tomatoes, sate, sweet long thin slices of carrots and radish, and parsley. They are filling, easy to get, and very cheap.
(Traditional Vietnamese Coffee with Condensed Milk)
Vietnamese Coffee – I should say that Vietnam is the coffee paradise for the coffee lovers like me! I have never tasted as good and cheap coffee ever in my life than here. No kidding. I have had great coffees in Italy during my 3 years of living there, but man they are expensive! In Vietnam, I could drink coffee every time I want anywhere I want it and its so cheap but the quality is the best! Not to mention that they offer free green tea as soon as you order anything from them, may it be a coffee or food.
Seafood– They’re everywhere in Vietnam! Unbelievably cheap! Even the streets of Saigon is flooded by the seafood vendors that also offers the cheapest local beer, making this a good spot for backpackers to chill at night.
I know some of the things I have on my list can also be found somewhere else, but what I’m saying is that they do it the best. Well, not the first class best but I would like you to take note of the price of what you are getting in return, that’s how they were the best.