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Just got here via Noodlepie.

The website looks great. I must admit I might the only person in Vietnam who isn't quite sure about Vietnamese food - but I remember a particularly happy week in KL when the Indian food especially was fantastic.

Good luck with the blog. I'll keep coming back.


Thanks omih, for stopping by. I think you are the guy that hooked me up with Nadine in Saigon, so we could donate a couple of bricks, no? How's the KOTO collection going?

No you are not the only person in Vietnam who's not sure about Vietnamese food -- there are some wonderful dishes and "Saigon favorites" highlight the ones I love most ... but I wouldn't personally rate it as the best place to eat in Asia. Right now, for me, that contest would be a draw between Thailand and Malaysia. Look for an KL Indian food post soon.



Yes that's me - fundraising is going okay - all efforts are now going into helping our cyclo friends (www.extremecharity.info)

I feel I am coming out of a closet even questioning Vietnamese food but I find so much of it bland and uninspiring. I love Thai food though and , of course, Indian food.

I do believe that so much of it is down to hype and Vietnamese food is so hyped that people won't admit to not rating it. As ever that hype is driven by Vietnamese restaurants in Sydney, LA, New York etc - and they are serving food far removed from what is on offer here.

I know the south is very different to the North - where the motto is "if in doubt boil it to within an inch of its life". Going down to Saigon soon to meet out cyclo heroes and hopefully meet up with the pieman.

Enjoy Malaysia - don't know much about Malaysian food but I wish Hanoi had a "Little India".


My take on Vietnamese food is that the spectrum of flavors is much narrower than Thai and Malaysian food (maybe Malaysia isn't a fair comparison though bec. of the varied influences -- Chinese, Malay, Indonesian, Indian, etc.) and that the regional differences aren't as great, so there's just less to work with. And that's probably why I could eat Thai 3 meals a day everyday for a month but not Vietnamese food -- too much repetition. And I think you're right -- north is a bit more difficult.
But it also sounds like you may be like me --I prefer strong, sometimes even exaggerated flavors, which means it's difficult to appreciate the subtle nuances of some Vietnamese dishes. Pho, for instance. Give me a spicy, fishy, bun mam anyday.
There's a quite decent Indian place in Saigon -- Little India? Little Bombay? a vegetarian place on a second floor, near the Caravelle. Perhaps nothing compared to India but visiting Indians we took to dinner there were quite pleased. Chat are the standouts there.


Hey there, I've actually been reading your blog for several months now and quite enjoy it. It reminds me of home ( I'm from China). I just wanted to point out that the 'ban' in ban mian actually means to mix. The 'ban' that means board has the third tone and the one that is in ban mian is the fourth tone (if I'm not making any sense, just ignore that last sentence). In China, ban mian is sort of just a name for any cold noodles mixed with sauces and vegetables. One of my favourite is this ban mian we make at home with peanut butter, like the cold version of dan dan mian.

Anyways, again great blog. I've actually just started a food blog with a friend based on the many different ethnic foods in Toronto, so if you have any tips or words of wisdom, I would greatly appreciate them.


Goldensoup -- thanks for your comment.

Actually you and I are both wrong. The character in question (see opening photo) is first tone 'ban' and it means to 'pull' or 'turn' -- which may have some reference to the way that that the noodles are made. For soup, pieces of dough are pulled by hand off of the dough sheet.

I lived in Sichuan for a year and I'm pretty sure there is no such thing as 'cold' dandan mian, ie. there is no liangban dandan mian (that is the 'ban' you're referring to, as in liangban, right?). The dish is by definition a hot one (there may be a cold dish that has some components of dandan mian though). And no dandan mian I've ever encountered in Chengdu has peanut butter in it.

Thanks for reading. You're lucky to be in Toronto, with its great ethnic food scene.

Pete@ loose green tea

Hello there, these food are mouth watering, I wish I can have this in the Philippines as well, although we have some Chinese restaurant but most of them or all of them are not that authentic. I don't anything looks similar to the pictures above. Too bad for me. But hopefully someday this will be available here as well. Thanks for sharing this wonderful meal. :)

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