Friday, June 15, 2007

Vietnam: Other mentionables

Any bowl of dessert with a generous slosh of coconut cream will get my mouth juices flowing just like how my brain perks up when my nose picks up the scent of durian. Asian countries like Vietnam and Bangkok love to use a great deal of coconut cream in their dessert, and of course God must have thrown down some pandan seeds when he thought something was missing.

This dessert stall in Ben Thahn market was paaaaacked. So many stalls but only this one was crowded most of the time. We had this glutinous rice with large, brown bean and covered with a good scoop of coconut cream. Fragrant glutinous rice with large beans providing a fuller taste and a nice powdery feel felt so good in my mouth. MMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmm! They also have other kinds of dessert like glutinous rice with yam, tau suan and bo bur cha cha. The only difference is that their tau suan, or rather their corn starch, is so sticky that I can throw it at a wall and it'll stick there.

Then we ordered this plate of kueh. The green one tasted like kueh kosui with mung bean paste on top of it and the yellow one is banana slices enveloped in clear jelly. Fantastic.

Just beside it was this stall selling iced desserts like cheng tng and chendol but in glasses. The chendol was quite similar to Singapore's but the cheng tng was different, with an added touch of raisins inside. The fillings were also slightly than those found here.

Oh and I forgot to mention, they give a small glass of refreshing unsweetened green tea with every dessert order. Just so you wouldn't feel so jerlard afterwards.

Walk a few more steps and we found any stall operating like a traffic light. People walk by, sit down, eat and leave with their seats quickly replaced by others. What they were selling were glutinous rice balls, something like abacus seeds, and some other rice balls with fillings in them. They give it a good dash of prawn floss and spring onions with a generous scoop of fish sauce and nicely finished with a handful of pork lard. It's freaking... awesome... Really.

Ben Thahn market is a good place to go if you're around Ho Chi Minh City. It has loads of stuff, including durian and many stalls sell Vietnamese coffee. And if your lady ain't crazy over food as you are, she can go shop for clothes and stuff and leave us alone!


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