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Pho in 3 minutes!

Posted by Bee on March 27, 2009

I love instant noodles and yes i know its not good for health, but there are certain things in life which we just can’t resist anyway. Some people cant overcome the urge to shop (shopaholic), to stores thing (hoarders), to eat or drink (binge eaters and drinkers) etc., For me, i cant resist instant noodle, ice cream, pork, moist chocolate cakes/fudge and the list go on, blame it on my sweet tooth. Well, as long the urge doesnt consume or cripple your life, i dont think its a big issue anyway.

Come back to instant noodle, there are so many flavors and variety of instant noodles nowadays, its easy to prepare, yummy and filling, who can resist a 3 minutes satisfying meal? Mind you, Instant noodle may not necessarally spell for cheap, I still remember there was one time when i ordered this soup noodle called 出前一丁 in a Hong Kong restaurant which cost like RM10++, and only realized later that the noodle was the instant mee noodle. At first i couldnt understand why is it named in such an alien way which confuse people, but if you think logically, 出前一丁means you just ‘ding’ before you left. I assume that the ‘ding’ refer to the usual microwave ‘ding’ sound, which implies fast and simple.

In my recent trip to Vietnam, one of the ‘souveniers’ i bought for myself are PHO INSTANT NOODLES!! It cost 3000 dong (which is around RM0.75) per pack, and i am amazed with the fact that there are so many different brands and varieties available in the mini mart.

Pho Bo typically means Beef noodles, and Pho Ga means chicken noodles. The dried rice noodles are thinner than the regular PHO rice noodle and i think thats why you can cook/microwave/boil the noodles in 3 minutes. Then they have this usual oil and MSG Pack which contains the granules and dehydrated vegetables, meats and FAT bits (no joking it was stated at the packing). The soup was thick and tasty (a bity oily though), and its taste like cheap vietnamese pho. of course real PHO with freshly prepared broth and nice thin beef slices is the best, but for RM0.75, Not bad at all.

These are two other types, namely stewed pork with mushroom flavor (yuhuuu, Pork instant noodle!) and Pepper beef flavor. Anyway, i have been restraining myself with max 1 pack of instant noodle per week, since i havent taken any this week so i will spoil myself with yummy instant pork noodle this saturday. Muahahahaha (*evil laugh)


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Al Fresco: Best Pork Ribs in Hanoi

Posted by Bee on March 17, 2009

Located beside the Ho Kiem Lake at Hai Ba Trung Street, Alfresco is the perfect Western restaurant to go to in Hanoi if you are over saturated with Vietnamese food and hunger for some good carnivorous meal. It is the home to all western favorites from Pasta, pizza, mexican to burgers, and the self proclaimed ‘best ribs in Vietnam’.

The environment inside is cozy and comfortable, with dim lights and warm tranquility. Big colorful menus hanging on the wall, bottles of ‘today’s special’ wine seating on the bar, for westerern tourists , this is very much homey to them. However, for Malaysian like me, this smells of expensive dining and big dollars.

Me and my mates have ordered shop famous Junior Pork Ribs, Alfresco Special very thin crust pizza and apple crumbles. The Pork Ribs here are to die for, so succulent and delicious, even Toni Romas in Singapore cannot beat them. The dish come together with fresh salad roasted potatoes. They also have mini and Jumbo size to cater for the big eaters.

The pizza did not fail us either. The thin crusty pizza was fantastic, its as though you are biting a crunchy tin biscuit rather than the usual Pizza hut thick pizza bread, the topping are consist of Ham, pepperoni, chilli beef, bell peppers, onion, pineapple, mozzarella cheese. Its very fresh and with hot Tabasco oil (its like the chilli oil but not so pepperish, i was tempted to ask whether i can buy one bottle from Alfresco), its tasted perfectly.

Microscopic view

The entire meal cost us USD 18, i would say the price is fair, cuz it will cost around the same in similar restaurants in Malaysia. So for those who planned to travel to Hanoi, dont forget to drop by at:

Al Fresco’s
23L Hai Ba Trung
Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Tel: 04-826 7782

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Vietname Culinary Experience

Posted by Bee on March 17, 2009

Hanoi is indeed a pearl of heritage and culture. Although nowadays it is flooded by sea of foreign tourists (am in no position of complaining as I’m one of them as well), but the deep rooted culture and boundless spirit of the locals is still very much intact and preserved. This has been best portrayed through their culinary and local cuisine.

The local vietnamese cuisine is very much simple (fast to prepare) but absolutely delicious. On top of that, you have the privilege to share the table with the local vietnamese as well as the fellow tourists, very much like in the busy dim sum restaurant in Hongkong. The only thing is that the table and chair are much shorter. And its kinda funny to see the foreigners which is like 5 feet tall sitting on the short chair, its like the giant sitting on the midget chair.



Pho shop

hanoi-r3Half of the Pho menu

Despite of all the stories of diarrhea threat, I have finally tried the famous hanoi street’s PHO at Cham ca street (mind you this is not the KLCC Vietnam Restaurant’s Pho which cost a bomb), of course with charcoal tablet ready in my bag. It’s a rice noodle which taste heavenly with the clear but tasty soup. For 18,000 dong (around RM4), I’ve tried tai chin, which means a mixed of half cooked and thoroughly cooked beef slices. I cant describe the different of the pho with Malaysian’s rice noodles soup but it just different. The beef was soft and tender, and if you have good toleration towards raw meat, half cooked is always a better choice. Well, not to say we didn’t eat raw food like sashimi and sushi in Malaysia.

hanoi-mThe cooks prepare the pho behind the glass window (lots of corriander, yucks)

hanoi-j1hanoi-l1The happy me with the yummy pho

Bun Cha

Bun cha is another great local dish, it’s a dish consist of barbeque pork cutlet, char siew, fresh salad (mint leaves, salad leaves, coriander and some other herbs), rice noodle and a funny tasted soup (sweet and sour) which has pieces of vegetable (carrot, cucumber in it. The way to eat the dish is to mix everything in one small bowl and eat together in a mouthful. The pork comes with some fat and burned choacoal taste, exactly how i wanted it to be. yummy! Apart from that, i’ve also ordered 1 roll of nem (by showing ‘1’ finger), which i have no idea why they have served me a plateful of at least 3 rolls of nem.

hanoi-vBun Cha Dac Kim at Hang Manh street

hanoi-sBun Cha

hanoi-tshowing the nem

hanoi-uAunty frying the nem

If you ask anyone what they know about vietnam cuisine, Nem is definitely in their list. Nem is like the veitnamese version of popiah, with pork, glass noodles and some vege in it. They have two types which is the grilled and non-grilled type. Well, unhealthy oily grilled food always tasted better, arent you agree?

hanoi-q2Yummy nem served with pieces of tomato and salad leaves

More vieliscious food to come!

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