Amsterdam view from Amsterdam Tower

Amsterdam view from Amsterdam Tower
The view from Amsterdam Tower

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Friends and Food – Fun in Saigon

A few months ago, my loved one had already given the signs that we would leave Ho Chi Minh City, within the next few months… As much as I’m already in my comfort zone living here, that means I have to start releasing my attachments to this town, home, friends and all of the good things including the culinary…

Pizza teppanyaki table at the back
Pizza 4P’s

4P’s stands for Platform of Personal Pizza for Peace . Cool name, cool website written in three languages; English, Japanese and Vietnamese. Check this out. Link

Tomato & mozzarella cheese

I had been spoiled with the thin and crunchy pizza at Basilico @ Intercon. However, when a friend mentioned about this Japanese pizza place, and the story that it is prepared by Japanese chef and we can sit in the Teppanyaki table, mmm…

Mackarel Pizza

It is cutely situated in a secluded road in Le Thanh Ton in District 1. If you know the small road next to Thai Express in Le Thanh Ton, just walk along until the end of the road, turn left until the end of the road again – it’s a dead-end road - and that where 4P’s is on the left.

Left: 4 cheese pizza. Right: margarita pizza
This place has been my favorite since the first visit. Reservation is required, as this place gets full easily, especially for dinner. Good service, it’s much better comparing to general service standard in HCMC restaurants.

Left: I can't recall. Right: Salmon miso cream pizza

There is only one size of pizza here. However, we can order “half – half” and at the end we can have a plate of pizza with two different toppings. My favorite one is Salmon Miso Cream Pizza!   

Spagetti with crab

The crab spaghetti is yummy; excellent presentation with the crab shell. They used to have something like “crabs gratin” in the menu, which is also my favorite. But it was off the menu at my last visit.

Yummy pasta, I can't recall the toppings
I think this is Spagetti Bolognese

Don’t hesitate to have hot chocolate cake for dessert. Taste the chocolate cake melted in your mouth…

Left: frozen yogurt with fruit. Right: hot chocolate cake

That’s where my Indonesian hangout friends and I went for my farewell dinner…  I was sad to say good bye but at least we got the chance to enjoy food together -J. Terima kasih atas persahabatan kita teman2… Persahabatan bagai kepompong, lho kok malah nyanyi -:) Sampai jumpa lagi… 

Thanks to our Japanese couple friends, we were invited to come to Ebisu in 35 Bis Mac Dinh Chi street in District 1. The highlight about this restaurant, in their opinion, is the home-made fresh Udon (type of thick Japanese wheat-flour noodle).

It is Japanese restaurant and the decoration confirms that indeed it’s Japanese. The servers speak Japanese to me #clueless.

Busy Kitchen

We can hear the welcome greeting every time guests come to the restaurant; "Irasshaimase!" I used to catch it as “Mase-mase”. Until Agnes my friend who used to live in Tokyo said that such word didn’t exist! Her 3 year old daughter pronounced it exactly the same like I did.

Tofu salad with sesame seed dressing

This is one of the Udon dishes

The good thing about going to Japanese restaurant with Japanese friends; no worries about the menu -:)

Another type of hot Udon

Hot Udon

All what they ordered is good; tasty Japanese tofu salad with sesame seed dressing, good yakitori (but yakitori is only available for dinner) – my favorite one is the chicken yakitori meatball (brown color and tastes a bit sweet), fried chicken with tartar sauce, chicken stew with lotus stew…

Chicken Yakitori

This is the yummy chicken yakitori meatball

What else? Konnyaku! They have arm root paste with miso sauce; it’s fried konnyaku and tastes sweet. Good fresh home-made Udon indeed!

Slowly-slowly, my loved one and I are smarter in Japanese cuisine. We also know a little bit the difference between Sake and Shochu. Our favorite Shochu in Ebisu is the ones from sweet potato (number 33 or 34). 

Which one is Shochu...?
Arigatou gozaimashita Tomomi and Macky!

An Phu, District 2, the best Indonesian home cooking

The best Indonesian home cooking in Saigon is available An Phu, District 2! – with the best chef who is also a beautiful lady! Thanks Madame Eva for all of your invitation, yummy food, all of the chit chat, friendship and sisterhood. She is the sister of my good friend in Jakarta. I guess that’s all friends is all about, caring for each other… In her living room, we enjoyed girls companies, discussed lots of things and enjoyed Indonesian cuisine.

Fried Crabs, Chilli & Garlic

I remember the first time I came to her house, it was after Hari Raya Idul Fitri last year and she cooked Ketupat (packed of rice wrapped in coconut leaves), Opor Ayam (chicken curry) and all of the common dishes served for Hari Raya.

Fried Fish - very spicy....

Another time, she had home cooking Indonesian dishes like fried fish, tofu, morning glory, sambal (spicy chilli) or western food like roasted chicken and potatoes with vegetables…and strawberry cheese cake for dessert!

Yummy Strawberry Cheese Cake made in Madame Eva

In one morning, I got a missed call from her and some bbm’s; “Mau makan Bubur Manado ngak? Ada di rumah…”. I right away rushed and get dressed to take a taxi to District 2. Bubur Manado is rice porridge mixed with various vegetables such as spinach, morning glory, corn, pumpkin and sweet potato or cassava. It is a famous dish from Manado, north Sulawesi.

Home cooking - Indonesian dishes

Some other fun lunches of course… in one luncheon, she and I whispered at each other, behind Indra’s back (and of course she was also listening), that’s when I told her that I was leaving Saigon…  She whispered back, a similar situation…

Ladies Luncheon

Thanks to all of my Indonesian girlfriends in Saigon, thanks for the sisterhood! #GroupHugs to everyone; Indra, Dennissia, Novie, Elsa, Dience, Juni, Ibu Nadya, Endang, Ira, Heny, Lucy, Sara and ex Saigoners Lina, Vera, Rita, Miranti and Yessi and of course to Eva, thanks a lot sis!

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