After lunch, we went to Pham Ngu Lao area (backpackers area) to book the Cu Chi tunnel half day tour. Went from shop to shop and asked for price. Price quoted to us ranged from USD 6 to USD 4. We eventually went for the cheapest one at USD4 for pax as the guy speaks Chinese and is from Hainan (same as my grandfather!).
Went to Ben Thanh market and bought a cap for the Cu Chi trip the next day. Hubby bought T-shirt :)
Passed by Huyunh Thuc Khang Street Market and found street snacks.
We saw 2 motobikes and a 3-4 persons, crowding round a lady selling snacks from 2 baskets by the road. We choose a couple of items which the locals bought (using hand signals and pointing). Each item cost ard 5,000 dong each. For 3 items, it costs less than 1 SGD.
First is an orangy glutinous rice thingy, a hint of spiciness... Hubby prefer this to the other two.
Second item is this thing wrapped in leaves. A guy on a bike bought a huge bags of this so we had to try too!
Its actually glutinous rice again, but the purplish thing inside is banana.
I saw something wrapped in banana leaf and comes with 2 small packets of condiments. It even comes with a plastic spoon - how thoughtful.
Inside the banana leaf is some whitish stuff (dont know what is it, and some yellowish stuff which I think is mung bean paste). For condiments, one pack is dried shallots, another pack is sugar. Mixed them all together and u have a crunch and tasty snack!
Next, we went to Fanny at Ton That Thiep street. An ice cream palor that is fancy and expensive by local standards. Our ice creams costs 60,000 - 85,000 dong each. Very intensively flavoured fruity ice cream. Must try!
Went to Art Museum, Notre-Dame Catheral and Post office
Dinner: At La Nicoise (Ngo Duc Ke, Dong Khoi area). No photos here. We wanted to try french food and saw great reviews on the tripadvisor. End up, its not french but they serve decent steak and the steak was done well. Dinner costs around 350,000 dong.
Day 2 - Day of the Cu Chi Tunnel tour.
Took cab directly to Pham Ngu Lao area and looked for breakfast. Saw this roadside stall that sells Ban Minh and decided to try. Its a sit down roadside stall (the dirtiest we tried), the lady was washing plates right next to me! Breakfast costs 55,000 dong.
Very pleased with our breakfast find. Breakfast is not complete without coffee. Had vietnamese drip coffee at a proper sit down 'coffee shop' where ang mos have their breakfasts. Costs 15,000 dong per cup.
The Cu Chi tunnel half day tour will return us to Pham Ngu Lao area by 2:30pm. By 11am, i am already feeling hunger pangs. Inside the cu chi tunnel area, we stopped briefly for some guys to try live firing using real bullets guns. We bought BBQ corn from the stalls (10,000 dong each) and is super sweet and tasty after sprinkling some salt and pepper over it!
The bus dropped us at Ben Thanh market at around 2pm and we went to a roadside stall we spotted during day 1. They have english menu! Total meal cost 100,000 dong. The guy pointed to the dishes we order and began talking in vietnamese '!%&*(, $%^**(, %&*()) , one hundred dong'. Don't know why but i found it funny and laughed out loud. They didnt charge us for the drink :)
- Fried glutinuous rice, topped with fried shallots and shredded chicken, served with a tangy and sweet sauce
- Vietnamese spring roll served with peanut sauce. They gave us two small bowls of the peanut sauce and had small spoons in it. The spring rolls are quite bland, lots of vege including basil which we dont like.
- Vietnamese wanton. The skin is like the crystal dumplings in Singapore, chewly texture. The meat is nice, served with fried shallots, some uncooked vege and chilli.
After lunch, we did shopping at Ben Thanh (weasle coffee powder, cashew nut and a lacquer vase) and sat down for dessert at a stall inside Ben Thanh market.
Costs 20,000 dong each. There are stools around the stall and we ordered and sit down to eat, holding the cups in our hands.
The drink on the left is longan drink. Contains dried longan, ginko nut, strips of agar agar, some seaweed look a like thingy and other bits and pieces of unknowns.
After desserts, we had shots of 'cho', for free.
For dinner, we are determined to have french food, so we went to La Fourchette, known for 'solid french food'. The food there is expensive for local standards, but much cheaper compared to Singapore. Total bill comes up to 1 million dong, which is around 60-70SGD.
Our entree is more expensive than our main course. It's foi gras (duck liver) from France.
This alone costs over 300,000 dong but a must try.
This foi gras is nicer than the ones we had in Paris. Heavenly...
2 thick slabs of foi gras, served with 2 slices of toast, salad and some soup made into jelly.
This is our second entree, french Onion soup.
I always wanted to try authentic french onion soup.
Very rich clear broth, and slices of onion, topped with 3 slices of crispy toast (the sides remains crispy after being soaked in the soup!) topped with cheese.
We feel full after the entrees. Oh no!
After clearing the entree, the resturant served us a huge glass of yellowish stuff. Guess what is it? MUSTARD!
Now for the main course, I had duck confit.
After watching Jamie Oliver on TV and knowing how duck confit is made, I am curious about the taste.
Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, served with crispy diced potatoes (made with real potatoes and had bits of onions mixed together) and french beans sauted with butter.
Hubby had duck breast, done to perfection. Tender and moist but not too bloody, served with potato pie and french beans.
Day 3 - Breakfast at a Pho restaurant beside our apartment. Costs 22,000 dong per bowl.
Then we walked to the Jade Emperor pagoda followed by a visit to An Dong market. Appears to be a wholesale market for clothes. Bought some coconut tree chopsticks and spatulas from the top floor. From the basement, some preserved duck meat and pig liver sausages, some fried ikan bilis and more cashew nuts!