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best food in the world..SaiGon-VIETNAM

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  • kylie michelle Apr 17, 2001 12:06 AM
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I cant believe that a site like this truely exists!
Food is the first and formost reason that we are now both living here in Sai Gon, Viet Nam. The basics of food begin and end here. There are no mad cows to contend with, no are no laws and by-laws to prevent the people from cooking as only they know how and have been doing for centuries.
How does the delicate white flesh of a goats breast sound? Grilled yourself with fresh okra and served with 'chao' a fermented soy paste? Im sure that i can not give this dish is full credit in words.
Really i dont know where to begin, but if anyone is interested or would like to know about something in particular ask away....i'll be more than happy to reply
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  1. Wow - strong words! I was in Vietnam a couple of years ago - went to Hanoi,Hue, Saigon, Halong Bay and a few other places. I would have loved to have some kind of food-oriented guidance. This was before I found Chowhound though :-).
    My travelling friend and I are pretty adventurous eaters - she was just out of Beijing. The food we had was decent but certainly not as fab as you describe. I think that our lack of knowledge about 'where the locals go', combined with linguistic barriers and an expectation on the part of the restaurants as to what we'd probably want (based on what other foreigners usually want), we ended up with a lot of lackluster pho and summer rolls. That said, we had a fantastic time and I'd definitely go back.

    I think many people would be interested in knowing more about Vietnamese food & your posts will be very welcome here.

    3 Replies
    1. re: magnolia

      Have you taken a look at the Chowhound Special Reports? If possible, I would love to see something like that from Vietnam -- with recipes if there is a chance a dish could be replicated outside of Sai Gon.

      If you are willing, why not email Jim Leff and suggest it to him.

      Best wishes, and welcome

      Anne

      1. re: magnolia
        k
        kylie michelle

        wow!! I seem to have forgotten that there really are other people out there who consider their meal times as the most important part of the day!
        yes, sad but true most Viet Namese restaurants do present food as to how they think foreigners want to see it. This however is not their fault. For a long time we tried to advice lost looking foriegners on what was good and where to find it, these people always saying that they were "desperate" to find the real VN. Most of them returned, full of pizza with stories of why they couldnt go to where we had told them.
        For those people who really do come here looking for real food the best way, naturally, is to be able to speak VietNamese. you can of course always just point in the direction of something you see that you like and for a few thousand dong and local will go and get it for you from the nearest vendor.
        I hardly know where to begin. In the year or so that i lived here i am still discovering new dishes on a weekly basis.
        kylie

        1. re: kylie michelle

          Your comment about how many restaurants in Sai Gon
          try to prepare food the way they think foreigners
          would like made me remember that I had the best
          stuffed squid in marinara sauce there. (Not
          what I expected to get when I ordered.) After
          that restaurant experience, I restricted my
          eating exclusively to the little no-name places
          with the squat plastic chairs on the street.
          At first the locals were a little standoffish
          because I'm obviously a round-eye foreigner.
          But they quickly warmed up when I expressed
          a sincere desire to eat what they were eating.
          That's the way I got to taste "the good stuff".

      2. I join the others with a big chowhound welcome to you! The site exists because it must. Like most of you, I was sick and tired of being a lone hound for so many years.
         
        Hey, it's funny that, aside from our London contingent, almost all our posters outside the US are in Asia. VERY few from Europe and Latin America.
         
        I would indeed love to discuss coming up with a special report about Vietnam. Drop me an email at address above; let's talk about it!
         
        ciao