There is a plethora of Vietnamese restaurants in town – way more than when we left last time. I think it’s because a lot of Taiwanese men have married Vietnamese women (choose your reason) and the women open the restaurants for something to do and it’s something they know how to do. And boy, do they know how to do it!
There are a variety of dishes you can order, of course, but there are two dishes that we order regularly: rice noodles and pho (pronounced ‘fuh’). Bun cha gio (spring roll rice noodles) and bun thit nuong (pork chop noodles) are what we usually get – crunchy fried spring rolls or a pork chop with lots of basil, shredded cucumbers and pickled carrots, and crushed peanuts, all sitting in a spicy-sweet brothy sauce. Mmmm.
I’ve put our favourite in front of the most-known: the pho. Vietnamese soup-noodle shops can be found the world over these days. I like them a lot, but you can have soup noodles almost anywhere in Taiwan (albeit not with delicious basil and lemon). I’ve had a lot of pho and while it’s good, none of it has blown me off my chair. My comparison item is still the rice noodles.
There are other menu items that are quite tasty, of course: spicy green papaya salad, a Vietnamese ‘crepe’ made out of egg that’s made with shrimp and eaten using lettuce leaves as holders. The Vietnamese baguette is a Vietnamese version of a French baguette sandwich. I’m sure there are more, but the menus are often in Chinese, so I forgive us for not getting everything.
Drinks? Iced Vietnamese coffee with sweetened condensed milk is about my favourite drink ever. The nutty flavour drives me wild – when I was in Vietnam I drank this at every meal – three or four strong cups of coffee every day. Mmm. Chris orders a neon-green drink called Sam Dua that smells like almond tea that I’m not a big fan of (I also don’t really go for almond tea). As you can see from the picture, it’s really green.
I’m going to miss Vietnamese when I leave here. Cheap, quick, and delicious, I am always open to picking up Vietnamese for any meal.