The food of Ho Chi Minh City

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So much good food to eat, so little time to blog.. A week in to my culinary travels around Vietnam and this is the first post I am squeaking out. To say the food is fabulous and stop there is a tempting place to stop given how complex and foreign many of the ingredients and techniques are. Not to mention how hard it is to remember the Vietnamese names to dishes. But for you who are interested in food, I will try.

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First stop in Ho Chi Minh city was at restaurant Ngon 138 for lunch. The restaurant is set up like an truly upscale food court where along the edge you can witness different vendors preparing their specialties. The range is broad; from seafood to pork, to French fries and soups. After reviewing the choices in person, you sit at a table and order from the menu and your waiter goes back to finalize your order with that vendor.

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We ordered a few different dishes to share. There was spiced pork with herbs, a rice egg crepe filled with shrimp, squid, beef and greens stir fried with caramelized garlic. Surprises included morning glory which has a wonderful lemon herbal flavor and the mints + basil combinations. The influences of the French can be felt in the fried potatoes but these are served with butter and sugar.

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