It’s only 8 am in the morning. The humidity is already sucking the energy out of us, beads of sweat are forming on our faces and bodies but we still sit there and eat our Pho. Dean braves chilli. There is only so hot and uncomfortable one can get so may as well go all the way.
A few months ago I discover to my delight why you always get a wedge of lime with Pho. The lime softens the sweetness of the broth which I always find a bit overbearing. But after this lime enlightenment, I really grew to love my Pho more. The Pho we have in Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh and Nha Trang) is never as sweet. When we mention this to our guide later, he explains that it depends on where you are in the country. Too bad we never have the opportunity to try it up North.
I cannot say that we had better food in Vietnam than we have in Australia. But I can say that I learnt a few new things.
Lesson Number 1
Every dish seems to have some sort accompanying dipping sauce. My favourite is a combination of pepper and salt served with a wedge of lime you squeeze into it.
Lesson Number 2
Everything seems to be prepared with, cooked with and/or dipped in fish sauce.
Lesson Number 3
Banana flower (salad) is just mouthwatering divine. A little bit crunchy, similar to papaya salad.
Lesson Number 4
Spring rolls were different everywhere you went. The ones we have in the places we frequent in Melbourne are always perfectly formed, skinny little things. You place the spring roll in a piece of lettuce, wrap the lettuce around it and eat. Our guide looked quite intrigued when I mentioned this.