Saturday, 28 April 2012

Morning Glory @ Hoi An, Vietnam


As my Twitter followers and Facebook friends know, I recently went on a holiday to Vietnam. It has been 19 years since all the kids (4 of us) of the family have been to Vietnam at the same time, so it was a wonderful and memorable holiday. My next few blog posts will be about my various restaurant dining experiences in the homeland, which made me realise the power and my love of food. 

Morning glory, is a popular restaurant in the heart of the Hoi An city centre. Morning glory is the English word for a famous Vietnamese vegetable known as Rau Muong. The owner of the restaurant goes by Ms Tring Diem Vy who is internationally renowned. From her Hoi An Restaurants website she was the first restaurant to cater for foreign tourists who visit Hoi An, by creating a menu filled with the local street foods and family recipes so visitors could experience Vietnamese specialities in comfort (i.e. a lot of tourists fear street food due to the stomach issues that may arise).

Left: Cham Island Sunet - pinapple & orange juice, line juice, grenadine, soda water.
Right: China Beach Sunset - pineapple, water melon juice, orange juice, strawberry syrup
Let's start with the drinks, both were non alcoholic and very refreshing. It was a perfect way to start the meal considering it was a warm night. All the juice was made from fresh fruit which made it that much better.

Banh Uot Thit Nuong: Barbecued Pork with Rice Paper
The barbecued pork is famous on the streets on Hoi An, being able to smell it everywhere you walk in the city centre. This dish came with the barbecued pork, rice paper, cucumber, green mango and fresh herbs. Same concept as other rice paper rolls you place all the ingredients on the rice paper, wrap it and dip in the designed sauce. The slight difference is that it comes with two types of rice paper, one wet and one dried. The dried sheet goes on the outside which allows it to be easier to roll and provides are nice  crunch.
 Cao Lau Hoi An
A famous Hoi An dish composed of cao lau noodles, marinated pork, croutons, fresh herbs and a subtle broth. This was one of my favourite dishes, it was like eating a warm salad. The noodles have more bite compared to rice noodles, but are similar thickness to chow mien noodles. The pork was soft and easy to bite, there was also bean shoots which added extra crunch. A very easy and safe dish to eat.

Banh Xeo
This is another famous dish of Hoi An, and is well known as a crispy savoury pancake. In this case you were to wrap some of the banh xeo in lettuce, and dip in sauce of your own choosing. It wasn't as oily as other banh xeo I have tasted.

 Prawn Curry
A subtle curry which I am very glad for, since it was warm night, we didn't want anything too spicy. The curry was composed of potato, broccoli and other vegetables, and came with a side of fresh bread that is baked by a co-business called Cargo Club.

 Ga Nuong La Chanh: BBQ Chicken with lime
Given the title of the dish, you can safely assume there wasn't anything flashy about it. Lime leaves were used to provide the flavour of the dish, not freshly squeezed lime juice. The little side of salad added freshness to the dish.

Smoky eggplant with minced pork

I was hoping this dish would be similar to an eggplant dish that is served at Chef's gallery, but unfortunately it wasn't. Smoked eggplant has a strange taste, can't quite describe it, but I didn't like it. I was constantly trying the dish in hope I could get used to the taste, that didn't work. 

Pork Belly with 5 spices and caramel sauce.

A popular dish on the menu of Morning Glory, and I agree. Slow-cooked pork is always tasty. The meat and the fat on the meat was soft and broke a part very nicely. The caramel sauce had a slight stickiness to it, in which the flavour just stayed on your lips, delightful!
Profiterole with chocolate sauce
My favourite of the dessert options, the custard was delectable, and for Vietnam standards, the chocolate sauce was pretty good.
Looks can be deceiving, and this was the case. The waffle was rather dry, and the cream was hard. The ice-cream was good though, but its hard to come across bad ice cream.
Creme Caramel
Creme Caramel with ice, definitely a new experience. Creme caramel is every in Hoi An, a slight obsession of the locals and tourists. Personally, I am not the biggest fan of creme caramel, so to me this was an okay dessert.

Good food, good times!


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