Saturday, February 02, 2008

Day 2 : Halong Bay

Food stalls every where but we had no idea which stall to eat at for breakfast. Ended up in some stall at some alley way having pho.

Pho = noodles. (Not poo ...hahahaha) Pho is pronounced as 'fo'. I didn't know about this until the fourth day in Hanoi ;p


Anyway, I had my 'pho so' (which means shellfish noodles) with a tomato soup which taste sweet and sour. The soup would have tasted better in the afternoon when all the flavor from the tomato and meat have mixed into the soup.


One really weird thing I encountered when eating my pho. See that yellow thing on top of my bowl? That's actually young banana with the skin! I think the banana is steamed first before adding into my bowl of pho. The banana was ok... but I didn't like it with the skin at all.


I also sampled the chicken soup from my friends bowl. Tasted just so so. I'm guess we are just to early for the soup to taste good. It was about 7.15am in the morning.


'Pho Bo', beef strips with noodles.


'Pho Gai', chicken slices with noodles.


Vegetables again, not that I'm complaining. Totally love their vegetables.

We headed to Hang Hom street to wait for our tour van to pick us up. Since we still had 10 minutes to spare, I quickly suggested to have another quick bite when I saw this.


This lady that sold us 'Peng Guan', Chee Cheong Fun like noodles, comes and put down her shop daily from 7.30am to about 11am in front of the Tourist Information Center (which is actually just another tour agency). I say 'put down' her shop because folks here carries their goods with them and where ever they go. Mobile.

Anyway, her 'Peng Guan' was absolutely delicious! Very fragrant with sesame fragrance and the mushrooms in the 'Peng Guan' added extra umph to the smell and taste. This noodle is eaten by dipping in a light sauce which tasted a little sourish and salty. Perfect!


While eating, my eyes wondered to the next stall that just put down. I wasn't too keen with the egg sandwich, but I decided to give it a second try. Nope, I don't like Vietnamese bread.


Lunch for the day was on board a boat at Halong Bay. A junk to be specific. Junk as in junk boat.. wait that didn't come out right either. A junk is a Chinese sailing vessel.

We were three hours away from Hanoi and about an hour away from land when the Junk captain stopped us at a floating fishing village. Fishes they sold were priced really ridiculously high so we didn't buy any.


I saw this fruit boat tied to one of the fishing farm... two baskets of fruit for 30,000 Dong, not exactly reasonable either but we bought anyway.


French fries for lunch!


Chili.


Fluffy egg omelet which were rolled and sliced. Quite nice with the extra salt pepper seasoning.


Tofu along with fresh tomatoes. We were having lunch with a lovely Sweden lady as well. I don't think they have tofu in Sweden because she was fascinated with it.


Fresh and cooling cucumber. (But it's so cold already!)


Vegetables and squid. Very very fresh stuff. Love the sweetness of the squid.


Fish which was really fresh. The only thing I didn't like was the fact that the weather is so cold until it made all the dished turn cold when they are served.


'Nem' aka Vietnamese spring roll. Nice. The spring roll are really stuffed... not like the skinny ones we have in Malaysia.


Stir fry vegetables and garlic. Cooked like Chinese style. Nice.


And finishing off the meal with water melon.


We also had the Mandarin oranges and fresh dates we bought earlier. I was told by our guide that there are two different types of dates, the sweet ones, and the sour ones. I think the ones I tried at home were the sweet ones, because this was a little sour.

We finished our short four hour tour of Halong Bay and the cave and headed back to Hanoi.


We stop at a rest place and I bought this Green bean cake (5,000 Dong) which my guide told me were famous and tasted good.

...yuck. Sweet and had a very sandy texture. Not my kind of dessert cake.


Dinner was a whole different story. We passed by this BBQ stall on the first night and told each other that we would have dinner there the next day. And we did.


Quite a lot of choices for a road side setup stall.


Beef, chicken, lamb, rabbit.... oh rabbit!!


You don't need to BBQ your sticks yourself. (but I wished we could, it would be much fun!) Some one will do that for you. All you need to do is sit and wait to be served. The vegetables comes first of course.


Top to bottom: The stuffed crab was delicious! Full of crab meat and fish paste. It didn't taste too salty and didn't have the fishy smell. The lamb was quite good too. Marinated with curry powder. The lemon grass with fish paste was very unique. Reminded me of a non spicy otak-otak on a stick. Good stuff.


The beef, bacon, and chicken however was just so so. I wished they could have burnt the bacon more.


Two if this flour cakes tasted unique. I can't figure what both are made out of, but the one that looks like a sliced onion had 'tong fun' as stuffing. And last but not least, the rabbit meat. ...Nar, rabbit is nicer eaten in a whole. I can hardly taste the meat off the BBQ stick.

With our stomach half filled, we walked around more to hunt for good food. We stumbled upon this shop Nha Hang Mien Luon #87 Hang Dieu Street which was packed with locals.

2 thumbs up!


Cha luon, dried rice glass noodles with eel (18,000 Dong). This is not a good picture to show off the noodles, but if you look closely, you can see the black strip of baby eels. Really good stuff. Crispy, not hard. The texture is much nicer compared to the fried ikan bilis.


Glass noodles was springy and cooked just nice. When chatting with locals, I was told that the glass noodles should be eaten dry, and not with soup, to bring out the unique taste and texture of the noodles.


Mien Tron (10,000 Dong) I believe is a mixture of pork and mushrooms. This mixture is shaped into circles and slowly fan fried with oil in low heat. For this dish, the pork balls are served with a light vinegared and watered down soya sauce. Also some cucumber as neighbors.

All that was still not enough to satisfy this 'Wai Sek Mau' (I'm being called the Glutton Cat for the whole duration of the trip by one of my friend). After passing by this sausage shaped fried stuff twice along the road side, I just had to have it.


But... disappointed. The outer layer is kind of like fried rice cake. The flour when heated went all soft and really stick. It was drooling all over me and a few portions of the flour fell on the floor while I was eating. I didn't mind though, I didn't like it. The inside sausage part just so so. Minced meat stuffing.

Day 2's food is much better =)

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6 pieces of worms:

Anonymous

The bbq meats look nice. I like the presentation. =)

Nat--

ilovepearly

Food on a stick, rarely get that, I mean in a outdoor setting.

teckiee

Nat: Actually hor... i was trying to get a proper of the guy bbq'ing. He looks better than he meat ;p ...(as in he's fair with rosy cheeks.. not delicious to eat ;p)

ilovepearly: hmm.. i think only satay

Nic (KHKL)

i would have loved the 'Peng Guan' but then again, isnt it cold for that? i would try the glass noodle with eel too. very curious abt that...

Rasa Malaysia

Bananas in the pho? That's weird, especially mixed with seafood?!

teckiee

nic: no la.. too cold for CCF? ohh the eel thing was the bomb!

MM: kind of weird mixed with anything! wasnt nice too.

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