This weekend was a little different than most because we have a special guest in town: Poppers! My Dad arrived on Thursday night and has been exploring the city with us ever since. He is loving it so far! We have covered quite a bit of the city despite the oppressive heat (39 degrees yesterday) and have more adventures to come. I present the last 48 hours:
|Mud Snails in Coconut Milk Broth|
|Papaya Salad with Dried Beef|
|Fresh Spring Rolls (Goi Cuon)|
|Deep-fried Soft Shell Crab in a Garlic Sauce|
|Bun Rieu Cua|
Dessert @ the irresistible Fanny's - 29-31 Ton That Thiep St, Q.1.
|Young Rice Ice Cream and Mixed Berry Sorbet|
Saturday morning started with avocado, dragon fruit, mango and sapodilla smoothies at our house before meeting up with Poppers at his hotel.
Poppers and I made our way out to District 5, where we explored Binh Tay Market.
After a sticky morning, we took a break for lunch @ Nhà Hàng Ngon - 160 Pasteur, District 1. Another key location for neophytes to enjoy a wide selection of street food in an innocuous, atmospheric setting.
|Vegetarian Goi Cuon|
We managed to fit in massages at Lady Saigon and a trip up to our apartment before we were ready for dinner. We went to one of our old favorites, Cuc Gach Quan @ 92B Thach Thi Thanh, District 1 to eat a sumptuous "home-cooked" meal and take part in the Japanese Tsunami Relief party upstairs.
Sunday morning found us wandering through Dan Sinh Market with bright eyes and bushy tails. At this giant military surplus market one can procure oddities left over from the decades of war that Vietnam experienced in the 20th century.
More pragmatically, the market doubles as a massive hardware store. Poppers had a field day informing us about the functions of every obscure tool and piece of equipment.
We walked along the street until we couldn't bare the heat anymore...
The potent conflation of mid-day hunger and blistering heat led us to the delectably spicy Indian fare @ Ganesh - 15B4 Le Thanh Ton, Dist. 1.
|Ganesh Spicy Naan|
To avoid further roasting, we made our way to La Fenetre Soleil @ 1/F 135 Le Thanh Ton, District 1, where we proceeded to relax and enjoy refreshments with some friends.
Wandering out to the streets again, we made our way to the Reunification Palace. Unfortunately, the palace was closed, but we found a spot at an outdoor cafe on the grounds and enjoyed a late afternoon refresher.
Dinner was light after our sub-continental feast and indolent afternoon. We headed to the tourist-heavy and generally overwhelming Barbeque Garden @ 135A Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, District 1 to cook our own meal under the twinkling lights of Saigon.
|Grilled okra, bo pho mai, and vegetarian skewer|