Posts Categorized: Vietnam

Searching for the best phố in Melbourne

It’s not something people talk about a lot but whenever I bring up phố there is enormous interest about where to eat it. People are always interested in the best places to eat in Victoria Street Richmond. When they hear I have a list of the best local phố restaurants from a phố expert in Sydney their notebooks and PDAs come out as they copy out the list. I discovered the “I Love Phố” exhibition that was held in Liverpool in NSW through Noodlepie, a blog with a distinctly Vietnamese slant. Cuong Phu Le, curator of “I Love Phố” was hoping to take his exhibition that covered poetry, art, installations, recipes and the food itself national and international (If Matt Preston is reading you should bring it down for the food festival). A 64 page booklet was produced which really is an amazing homage to the noodle soup. The only thing missing is a podcast (I may just put one together) on how to pronounce phố. About a year ago I was about to fly out to Hanoi and I was filled-in on the minute detail of hoe to pronounce what I was told is “feu”. My language was hi-jacked by f**dies who thought they knew how to pronounce it but didn’t. I successfully ordered my first phố in Vietnam, in a small hotel in the old town, only acheived by simply ticking a box on a slip. I sat with my back to the window and didn’t see the kitchen hand negotiate the early morning traffic of thousands of mopeds and bicycles with a tray of the soup. I was eating street food and a love affaird with it started. I dumped my guidebook realising that the best food was on the street.All I had to do was follow the crowds of locals and the best food in Hanoi would be mine. Of course, it wasn’t that simple. Try ordering “pho” or “feu” and you aren’t going to come away with much as I discovered phố isn’t pronounced that way. Anyway, it is a little easier to order the soup in Melbourne and for the record these are the places I was recomended. Is there any restaurant missing from the list? Pho Dzung Tan Dinh 208 Victoria St Richmond 3121 VIC Phone: (03) 9427 0292 Pho Dzung City Noodle Shop 234 Russell Street Melbourne VIC 3000 Phone (03) 9663… Read more »

Weasel poo coffee – as posh as pig’s arseholes

We are a coffee granule free zone. But I do have half a kilo of some stuff that passed out of a Weasel’s backside. At least in Vietnam they call it weasel. It is a civet and the beans are poohed out, it having eaten the coffee berries. Some poor bugger collects the droppings and (hopefully) washes them before roasting. It makes a very, very dark coloured bean and a very strong dark coffee. J says it even tastes of poo. I don’t know why we should become all uptight at drinking weasel poo coffee. After all there isn’t actually any poo in the grind (again hopefully). Chef Fergus Henderson (who’ll be bringing his schtick to Melbourne soon for a winter food festival) made his name feeding us tripe. Yep, he’s the man who made pigs’ arse holes posh. So poo should not be something we are shy in dealing with. I can still remember my first coffee in Hanoi, made with one of those tiny drip filters. It was very dark and strong and chocolately. The weasel is stronger, better toned with the addition of condensed milk. J reckons it’s horrible but my coffee obsessed neighbour still raves about it. That I don’t buy coffee granules will be no surprise to anyone familiar with my views on tea bags. It does, however, surprises tradesmen (aside from my fleur de lis monogrammed velvet slippers) who also have to put up with home made vanilla-flavoured sugar in their coffee. I never thought myself as a coffee fascist and I can live without the drop. But when I drink it I want it to have flavour and bite. Being a late morning person coffee is the drug I choose as a morning kick-start. In my early days as a journalist we had strong drip coffee, usually from a pre-ground vacuum-packed container. By late afternoon the coffee was approaching the consistency of treacle and only a filter less Galois bummed from a colleague could cut through the taste. It was around that time I discovered the concept of cappuccino and espresso on Wardour and Old Compton Streets and around. These Italian variations of coffee sufficed for nearly ten years (alongside the occasional shot of Greek – or Turkish, depending on your politics). At the last count I had seven coffee makers at home. There’s the very old octagonal espresso machine, you know the… Read more »