Category: Vietnam

Pho, 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 […]

coffee, Ingredients & produce, Paraphernalia, Vietnam

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 […]


Goat, veal, pork or duck?

“Like dried baby goat. Or perhaps – I know – like veal, like the veal of a baby suckling calf, only drier.” This is how Princess Mary of Denmark’s royal father-in-law Prince Henrik describes dog meat. The Hairy Bikers couldn’t decide whether it tasted like Pork or Duck. J warned me off this delicacy so I can’t tell you what I thought of the taste. I may have eaten it without knowing. I just don’t know. What I can tell […]

Bars & pubs, Vietnam, Wine

Drink within your means

How much should you pay for wine? Or let’s put it this way: How much more than the cost of food should wine be? In Melbourne the cost of a main course in a restaurant is fast catching up with the cost of wine. If I’m feeling poor I may spend $40 to $50 on a bottle in a restaurant. Feeling rich and I may double the figure. To put this into context in the kinds of restaurants where I’m […]

Ingredients & produce, Restaurants, Travel, Vietnam

What are little boy bloggers made of? Frogs and snails (no puppy dog’s tails – yet)

France is best known for its frogs and snails. But the industrialisation and development of mass agriculture means you’d be lucky to find a French frog or snail in the shops nowadays. You’ll be eating the common or garden eastern European varieties. Or you could visit Vietnam. Pretty much everywhere has live frogs in the market either tied together or in a net. And snails roam fairly free too. I’m waiting for the night train to Hanoi in Lao Cai, […]


Baguette & Chocolat

We’re a short drive from the Chinese border. Chris, from Sydney, reckons Sa Pa reminds him of a French ski resort. And the more I think about it, he’s right. The hotels have that French chalet feel. Sa Pa is at 1650m, the base high of ski resorts like, um, Courchevel 1650. And then I woner up the road, up the steps with the water buffalo (see previous post) and enter Baquette & Chocolat ̣(đ Thac Bac). It is just […]