Anthony Bourdain, the culinary god himself, keeps coming back to Vietnam and I perfectly understand why. Vietnamese cuisine is one of the most delicious and healthiest in the world and just the thought of it makes my mouth water and makes me ask for more. Although I do not like the strong smell of parsley, which is coincidentally prominent in all their dishes, Vietnamese cuisine still ranks on top of my list.
There are noodles, pork, chicken, beef, and all the essential greens. One thing I noticed is that their soup is flavorful. My palate was overjoyed when I as in Ho Chi Minh although I didn’t get to digest, much less enjoy my very first meal because our flight was delayed and we were rushing to catch the AO show in the Saigon Opera House. The AO show is the local version of Cirque de Soleil in the city.
If you are going to the country soon, here are some of the dishes which you need to try.
Banh Mi is a Vietnamese term which is loosely used for all types of bread but it more specifically refers to the French baguette which was introduced during the French colonial times. The French baguette is more airy than its Western counterpart and has a thinner crust. This Vietnamese sandwich has cucumber, cilantro, pickled carrots and an assortment of cold cuts, from pork, pork sausage and chicken.
The pho is the highlight of any trip to Vietnam. A noddle soup, consisting of broth, rice noodles, herbs and served with ether chicken or beef, it is one of the most popular street foods in Vietnam. You will see locals, as well as foreigners enjoying their pho in side street stalls, slurping the bowl of goodness while sitting on low stools. Personally, there is nothing that the pho cannot heal, even a broken heart.
Bun cha is a dish of grilled pork and noddle and is thought to have originated from Ha Noi. I have tried bun cha in Hanoi and let me tell you it is one of my favorite dishes! Bun cha is similar to another dish popular in the northern region of the country, the Bun thit nuong.
TIP: Try the bun cha in 145 Bui Vien, Pham Ngu Lao, home of the best bun cha from Hanoi. You won’t regret it. I promise you!
Kem Trai Dua
The Kem trai dua is an authentic Vietnamese style coconut ice cream. The ice cream is topped with nuts, corn, dried coconut and other dried fruits. It is sweet and it is a welcome respite after a day spent sightseeing under the hot sun. I can easily eat 5 bowls of this!
I was a bit disappointed during our trip though as we were not able to meet the famed Lunch Lady of Ho Chi Minh (my mouth is watering just thinking about all the good things she is serving which her patrons are enjoying every afternoon) and we were also not able to try the Banh Xeo, but overall the trip was great as we enjoyed good food and I am posting some of my meals, as well.