A taste of street soul in Hoi An

A highlight of our eating experiences on the world tour so far, is without a doubt Neville’s tour of foodie Hoi An.

In five hours, plus a few more at the end over some 20 cent beers (and no I haven’t missed off a zero), it was not only the flavours and sensations that grabbed me, emotionally the tour is something special; the whole morning was full of smiles, laughs, warmth, chatter, quirky history, fantastic tastes and many stories.

I admit to being a little nervous about street food initially, now the menus have been a little demystified, and the flavours were all superb, I think the only thing I chickened out on was the spam, historically a favourite for the Vietnamese to pinch from the GIs! A few outdoor foodie shots before I move onto the delicious bit…

The tastings themselves varied from on street action to cafe and restaurant comfy tapas style dishes, none of us were any good at following Neville’s advice to ‘just have a bite’, well we were all from Melbourne!!! And can you believe one of the two lovely sisters we met lives in HK, works in publishing and knew my Dad’s chemistry book, what a small, small world it is!

The large rolled rice below is a special dish for TET and it’s history goes way, way back to a legendary royal son who realised simplicity and symbolism were a more important part of food than complex showiness…this was his solution to the quest for a food that could work equally for royals and the everyday…and rather tasty once fried, placed on a bit of cruchy cracker and chillied up…see below:

There were lots of other noodly, herby, fresh, savoury dishes to follow; flavour balance and never forgetting the crunch essential.

As well as finding out there are hundreds and thousands of fish sauces, the rather chalky biscuit intrigued me, historically something that came from the years of war, this one was official, unlike spam; included in the rations, a treat of sorts.

The final essential ingredient was passion; from Neville for Hoi An, the local stallholders for dishes passed down generations and the unadulterated enjoyment this imparts to every taste, it’s taken me a while to get to Vietnam, happy I’m here.

For lunch today we had a pork bun from the side of the road, clearly well loved, a Bourdain street fav for a reason, yet still only $1…soooo scrumptious some of it is still on my t-shirt; extra chilli is my excuse!

Looking forward to testing my camera skills on the lantern festival this Sunday, still a little unsure of night time photography, having some fun doing a bit of prep…think I might need to invest in one of those dinky tripods at some stage.

4 Comments

  1. A simple and very honest review. You left nothing out and really intrigued me with the rolled rice fried and the GI biscuit ration. Thank you

    1. Thanks Brad, rolled rice tasted as good as it looked, not there taste wise with the biscuit, although semi empathise with the ‘treat’ factor…without having any understanding at all of how horrendous it must have been to look forward to that during the war…

  2. Hi, Lovely pictures! I have lunch every 6 weeks, in Melbourne, with one of the “Lovely sisters” you met on the foodie tour. She told me about your blog, so I shall enjoy being an armchair traveller under your guidance. from Jessica

    1. Hi Jessica, welcome aboard the armchair, we had a great evening with Gwyneth, and also hope to catch up with her once back armchair travelling myself from Mebourne..enjoy the last few months of the travels!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s