23 October 2006

Unwarranted Snoot

I was at Sephora this weekend in the perfume aisle along with at least one unwarranted snoot: "No, they don't have the one I'm looking for-- Salvador Dali makes the best stuff."

22 October 2006

Quote of the Week

"Stop.. trying.. to.. cheer me up!" - Harry Tasker

19 October 2006

Eastern Dining, Part I

Back from a long hiatus again, albeit justified this time. Surely most costs piled on prior to departure, but that is history now-- I only have the bills to look forward to now.

Food is important on the eastern side of the world, but actual 'dining' has a whole different meaning. Staggered service has defied the concept of waiting for everyone before starting. While I would think that might mean encouragement to share dishes as is traditionally done for the Chinese, I would also venture to argue that the portions are just a little more than enough to feed one person if you so dare to think you won't gross sick of the dish before finishing it.

Language made a bigger difference than I would have anticipated. I could only remember the names of a handful of restaurants. And even if I could remember them, the most extensive directions I would have been able to give would have been something like: Walk down the street with all the motorbikes - you might have some trouble crossing. Then at the corner where there are people sitting outside on footstools hanging out, take a left. The street name should be Nguyen-something. Walk around the pile of trash and take a right on Thanh-something, another right on Khoung-something where four women hang out selling postcards, and a left on Nguyen-something else. There is an old man there with no teeth who will offer you a cyclo ride. You may decline as the tasty ├žom is around the corner.

I remembered a couple though. Mermaid Inn was one of my favorites-- it was an open-windowed restaurant off of a main dirt road that served wrapped mackeral baked with curry and tamarind, stuffed squid, coconut lassi... and pizza. I didn't get to try My Nghe, much to my chagrin-- it was hidden in the dark streets of the capital but I hear you can get big bowls of noodles. Hong Phuc and Banana Leaf were next to each other in one of my favorite towns. There was a sense of familiarity to it-- I was amazed at how my travelling companion was able to find her comforts of NYC even while 10,000 miles away. We spent the most time at Hong Phuc and went to Banana Leaf twice. There was another place down the street but she said it was dirty compared to these two. Ancient Garden sounded more like a cheap Chinese restaurant on Staten Island than a dirt cheap Vietnamese restaurant in Hanoi. I was surprised there were not Christmas lights strung up around the place. I can recommend the chili and citrus pork. The caramelized eggplant was supposed to be to die for-- but frankly, I'd rather die before eating it again.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?