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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Weekend Eats

Ho Chi Minh wasn't my favourite destination initially, but the more i frequent it the more i find it endearing. Ho Chi Minh is the perfect destination for the weekend getaway because

1) Sale fare can go as low as $120 (
2) It is not as popular as Bangkok
3) It is only 1.5 hours flight time and 1 hour behind SG time
4) Late Friday evening out, not too late Sunday night in

Weekend getaways are meant for lounging around,
 zipping around town,
I look like a boy, or a tortoise.

 and stuffing that tummy.

Vietnamese women are infamous for their shapely figure.Cue woman in stripes.

Catch the sights of a somewhat kumpung lifestyle that Singapore doesn't quite have anymore.
Very cruel on the fishes though.
Cue in on the local motorbike culture where children as young as 6 months and families as many as four are riding on one.

Dig out the hidden gems of French cafes where you can spot Orlando Bloom look-alike.

Awesome food found at this quiet cafe away from Saigon's hustle bustle and a whole lot of vehicle horns.
Even though i've visited Saigon umpteenth times, i am still the scared-ey cat Singaporean tourist who didn't dare try the local street food. This time, i was a little braver.

Banh Mie is a famous local sandwich street store. It's like 7-11, in every corner. Except that you never will see a 7-11 or a Macdonalds in Saigon. So you settle for Banh Mie.
This Banh Mie store is right next to another Banh Mie store that is apparently alot more popular! Look at the people crowding around.
Being a Singaporean, we are trained to follow the queue so that's what we did. We snubbed our noses at the one next to it, it didn't have a queue. The popular one, however, didn't have any newspaper article or certificate plastered on its display panels.
So they stuff some meats and salad with some sauce in a toasty crispy baguette.
I actually do not know what kind of meats they stuff in there, it looks pretty slime-y and dubious. I really wasn't quite sure if i should proceed.
Warm in my hands, i took a bite and it was juicy! Only SGD 1, it's comparable to Subway! I tried not to think too much what dubious meat it could be.

Not getting a stomach ache, i got a little braver.
I did what the locals do and sat by the roadside and ate.

A variety of seafood, we pointed out our selection. The marinated octopus was exceptionally good, the suckers actually burst in our mouth as we bit into it.
I chose these seashells because they looked so big and pretty. In order to keep the shells, we first have to dig out and devour the meat (taste just like any other shell fish, chewy). Alas, the shells were too oily and i was lazy.
When i first saw the locals eating by the roadside (mind you, they will sit side by side facing the road with all that traffic and pollution), i thought it was absurd!
Cola beer is a good combination.

Following our nose, we stopped by a restaurant to check out their menu.
We liked what we saw. A duck in a sexy pose!
Tortoise wasn't too wild, we have turtle soup in Singapore. What caught my eye was STIR FRY BOWEL. They say not to shit where you eat, maybe in Vietnam it's different.
What took the cake was the monitor lizard grilled with salt and egg. My bravery for the weekend reached its cap. I'll save this for another weekend.
When all else fails, remember....Eat rice and be Friends Forever.

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