Fast Food Wars in Vietnam

Fast Food Wars: the smokey, heat of battle in Vung Tau, Vietnam.

Pitched on each side of the street, it’s Cóm 25k versus Cóm Tàm 25k.

Maccas v Hungry Jack’s? KFC v Red Rooster?

Both sell the grilled, ultra-thin chicken cutlet with egg, rice, vegie and a squirt of sweet chilli syrup.

Delicious, too.

Let’s call it a draw, and we’re all winners …

Vietnam Grows on You

Vietnam devotes much effort into beautifying the beachside parks and gardens.

This is the “Back Beach”, in Vung Tau; the same for Nha Trang, Da Nang, Hoi An – at destinations up and down the Vietnam coast.

Take time out in Vietnam’s beautiful and relaxing beachside parks and gardens

Crunch Time: Tackling Vietnam Soft-Shell Prawns

Vietnam soft shell shrimp (prawns).

Not to my liking but it keeps popping up, in Vung Tau, Nha Trang – across this fascinating country.

Steamed, grilled, sweet, fried. Not one to shy away from a challenge, by the end of this journey I will have acquired an appreciation, or, having given it my best shot, I shall withdraw with honour.

This night’s street-stall version is a big prawn, deep fried in peanut oil with a very tasty batter, and the prawn meat is firm and delicious.

A pity there’s a barrier of “crunchy” shell between the two.

Crunch, crunch, crunch …

Soft-shell prawns/shrimp are a culinary favourite in South-East Asia (and now world-wide) but that “crunchy” shell can be a challenge to even an adventurous diner.

Crispy Rice ‘Puff’ is Good Stuff

Vietnam Lunch: the young bloke next to me was eating a plateful of these, with rice.

Being of daring spirit and with a yearn to learn, I had to try one too. Delicious!

Similar to a Cantonese ham sui gok, it is a light, hollow, doughy “puff” coated in baked rice “bubbles” (a la crispy rice crackers) and, I presume, pan fried.

These being hollow, you could have a lot of fun experimenting with various fillings such as paté or mince, or do vegetarian with diced tomatoes and onions; maybe a sweet version with raisins and citrus peel, and serve hot with vanilla bean ice-cream.

(I’ve impressed myself with these ideas. What am I doing, pretending to write? I should be pretending to “chef” …)

Crispy rice “puffs”: a delicious addition to lunch in Nha Trang, Vietnam

Vietnam Lunch is ‘One With The Lot’

Vietnam lunch is a “one with the lot”.

A big queue was happening at this Nha Trang street food stall – building labourers, office workers, they were pulling up on their motor scooters; the family running the stall were working like clockwork, filling take-away containers and ladening plates.

They all seemed to be ordering rice with a bit of everything. So I did, too! Smart move.

The meal was pork done various ways, chicken, boiled/stewed pigeon eggs, vegetable, crunchy fried shrimp (yes, I crunched them – shell, head and all), and other bits and pieces.

Generously spoon on some SE Asian home-made sweet chilli syrup, and tuck in …

Lunch is a Vietnamese “one with the lot”


Traditional Vietnamese Wedding is a Feast of Fun

Traditional Vietnamese wedding near nha Trang: what an honour to be invited, by Dung to the wedding of one of her work staff.

They are so courteous and friendly.

Two fun & friendly hours of eating, speeches, eating, singing, eating, hand-shaking, eating, pics, eating …
(videos to come)

Beautiful bride & gregarious groom, with office workmates – and an Aussie ring-in.
Sneak in a smile, in between courses of delicious Vietnamese food
Guess whose camera has run out of space on the memory card?

Coffee is Gold, in Vietnam

Nha Trang Riverside: Beautiful new mansions.

I’m guessing the owners might be coffee merchants?

In Vietnam today, coffee is “gold”; in the 19th Century Gold Rush, merchants selling supplies to the prospectors became the millionaires.

Here, start the day with a tin phin drip coffee, with ice and “sweet milk” …

“The Storm, Nha Trang”

Late in the hot afternoon
It slinks from its Lair
Deep in the indigo mist
of the Annamese mountains.

Champing for the Champa
Hunger whet since ancient times
The Dragon comes to devour all
As Time surely did intend

Slowly sliding down each slope
Silently slipping over each ridge;
The jungle a viridian carpet
For a Dragon come to feast

It edges to the very edge;
Conquest so very near
This day it must fulfill
The reason it is here

A deep, thundrous purr
Escapes into the heavy air
The Dragon’s tongue flicks
To taste the tantalising fringe

But No!
For unflinching
And immutable
Is the sighing Sea

Though thin as air
A barrier impregnable
Blankets shoreline
And all that dwell there

Thwarted again on the cusp
Dragon can taste only despair
Exhaling one long, cool gust
And retreats back to the Lair.

  • GDH 8/6/2022