the bean store – on Vo Van Tan

There are so many new food/coffee shops opening around Vo Van Tan and Cao Thang Sts in District 3 these days that it’s hard to keep up with them. But in the interests of my stomach I keep trying to update constantly. The Bean Store is yet another new one, clean, quiet, sensible background music,nice decor, friendly staff, great menu, good food, reasonable prices, what more need I say?? Give it a try!

The Bean Shop

The Bean Shop

a new intake of carbohydrates

Just last week, Tous les Jours, a Korean based French pastry chain opened a new outlet just a few hundred metres from our house. This is very dangerous to a healthy lifestyle and trim waistline, but very handy for a quick treat also.

xoi ga

To the uninitiated this may not look all that appetising, however, this is one of my favourite things to eat. It’s xoi ga, or sticky rice and chicken. In this version the chicken is mixed with mushroom, tiny shrimps and a quail egg and encased in the sticky rice which in turn is wrapped in a leaf and cooked in a steamer. I prefer to eat this with a dash of soy sauce, preferably mixed with chili and garlic. Yum. If eaten for breakfast this will “stick to your ribs” all day.

fresh & hot …



… and delivered to my door every morning


What could be better than fresh crisp white bread delivered to your door every morning, still piping hot from the oven. I don’t think anything compares, it’s totally awesome.

Every morning the deliverers of this breakfast treat ride their bicycles up and down each hem loudly chanting, “Banh mi day, banh mi nong!” A friendly smile accompanies every loaf. Then its time to sit down, cut the loaf, spread some butter and Vegemite (I am an Aussie after all), and enjoy with a home made steaming hot cappuccino.

Heaven on a stick!

Saigon Times Online – The zest and color of bun cha

I just love eating Bun Cha (pronounced “boom char”) and this is a very nice description of the dish written by Thanh Huong as published in the Saigon Times Online.

By Thanh Huong in Hanoi


A portion of bun cha Photo: – Thanh Huong

Hanoi people eat bun cha as a treat – not to fill their stomachs. Bun cha is a cool delicious mix of noodles, grilled pork slices, grilled minced pork meatballs, fish sauce, salad and some relish. You will never forget your first bowl of this zesty salad snack. In Hanoi there are whole streets full of shops that specialize in this dish. Ngoc Khanh, Nguyen Khuyen, Hang Manh are some of bun cha streets in the capital. The intense competition between bun cha vendors has lowered the dish’s price to VND20,000-VND25,000 each.

Travelers can easily find bun cha streets by following the fragrance of grilled pork. The dish is colorful with white noodles, green salad, red chilies, black pepper, and fish sauce swimming with carrot slices and shredded green papaya. The sauce is made up with sugar, vinegar, chili and pepper.

The secret of delicious bun cha is in the way the fish sauce is prepared. It should be sweet, sour, slightly hot and salty. Only traditional cooks know the secret and they never tell. That’s why Hanoi people have to go out to enjoy bun cha instead of cooking it themselves. It is regarded as a fashionable snack to share with friends. The portion is quite moderate so it’s fine to order seconds.

Dip a slice of grilled pork pie and some noodles into the fish sauce, add some salad and mix them all in your mouth – you will discover a surprisingly delicious taste and fragrance that you have to experience to believe.

Bun cha is now served with spring rolls. However, the new innovation has not been welcomed by purists, who know the genuine taste of the ancient city’s traditional cuisine.