Saturday, November 19, 2005

Food: Bun Oc @ Vietnam, HCMC

Being my first trip to Vietnam, it is quite understandable why many are my first experience. Snail meat happen to be one of them. Many thanks to Noodlepie excellent blog, locating a molluscs meal of all sorts anywhere in HCMC is merely a few mouse clicks away. This man is truely a walking dictionary of all things edible in HCMC (if not Vietnam). I decided on the snail noodle soup at Bo Ai.

With a printed page on hand, I walked-the-talk on the streets of HCMC. I'm really looking for red colored signboard & blue chairs (seen on Noodlepie's blog) since this is far more visible then hunting down some Vietnamese words, which I hardly understand. Strangely, I could not locate Bo Ai even though I have a gut feeling that I'm pretty near there.

Strolling up & down, perplexing, sweating profusing under the noon sun. Fortunately one kind soul point me to the shop right in front of me! ARGGHHHH *blush* IT'S JUST RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!!! *blush* There is a tree available at my side for my head knocking as well *blush* And I realise why I'm not able to locate by colors!!! They changed the color scheme. The signboard is blue/white while the chairs are red now.

Embrassed, I quickly get seated to the nearest chair I could find. A kid brought a menu but I just quickly points to Big Sign on the wall that says BUN OC.

The food arrived pretty quick and the "usual suspects" showed up. The wet towel (1000dong),some shredded vegetables or herbs, chilles, sauce and of course the bowl of Bun Oc.

The veggies / herb plates were made up of possibly mint leaves, ?shredded banana flower bud?, bean sprouts. (ok, I admit, I'm lost here!

Bowl of Bun Oc were full of chopped spring onions, tomatos, noodles (bun) & of course snail meat (Oc - blackish bite-sized thingy in the soup). I so pleased that these don't looked as challenged as the duck egg.

Soup taste light & easy, sourish with hint of mild sweetness from tomatos. No oilliness or fats nor traces of MSG are deteced (at least my head tells me otherwise I will have a throbbing headache). The crunchy snail meat itself don't have any odour nor taste. But I think it adds interesting textures & body to the otherwise soupy noodles bowl.

I really liked this light refreshing soup, it really nice and easy meal. Especially good when you don't feel like having a heavy meal. And with all the veggies and absence of the fats & cholesterol, This is really a great bowl of health!

Where? Bo Ai at 19/12 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai street in District 1
Price? hmm ... scribble something in my notebook, will update later (if found) :P

Looking just across the road, I can't help thinking why Vietnamese prefer to "stacked" their houses vertically up on limited land. Perhaps land costs might be one of the primary reasons especially in District 1. However, you have consider the extra costs for "stacking" your rooms vertically up. Besides, I do find it quite a hassle to climb up & down if your bedroom happens to be on the top.

Perhaps there might be other reasons, do shed some lights in the comments if you know them :) Thanks!


Blogger J said...

noodle soup looks delicious! great pictures

3:59 PM  
Anonymous pieman said...

Intersting. Glad you liked it. I intend to head back there for banh da cua - whatever that is.

As fort the houses. I think this relates to the cost of 'frontage'. You pay more for a wider front. People build thin and high, to save cash.

Plus, Vietnamese people believe that if the front of a building, esp. a business, is wider than the back, then it will bring bad luck. I think it's a load of bollocks, but I'm not Vietnamese.

9:57 PM  
Blogger eatzycath said...

omigosh, another one of those 'r-u-sure-u-wanna-eat-that' delicacy, I might skip this together with the balut. Slurp, did u by any chance eat anything normal in HCMC, maybe phobo? yummy rice rolls???

11:35 PM  
Blogger slurp! said...

j, thanks for dropping by

pieman, thanks for that interesting info. will love to read about your banh da cua soon. there's 1 or 2 more i attempted. will let ya know when I linked up.

aww ... come up, snail meat, that's french equivalent of escargot. i had pho bo almost everyday less those time i was with my friend. he insisted on going chinese resturants. he must have been pretty homesick.

anyway, it's a short trip there and it's my intend focus on street food this round. do note that they do have exquistive high end vietnamese, french, italian dining there.

no rice rolls, but goi cuon. some called it summer rolls.

there are a few couple more coming ... so does street baguette sounds like normal meals? :D

12:46 AM  
Blogger eatzycath said...

hahahh, street baguette sounds very good and looking forward to that - btw, slimy snails slathered with the most aromatic of butter herby sauce (and deceptively named 'escargots' for the uninitiated) is still slimy snails! yuuuccck!

3:57 PM  

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