Vietnam's cuisine is for tourists
Vietnamese cuisine is a blend of Chinese, Indian, French and other traditions, while remaining completely unique and original.
The food choice is quite varied, and the prices in the restaurants and cafes are very reasonable and affordable. It is believed that Vietnamese food is the cheapest in the world, but not because it is made from simple ingredients, and because the products are cheap. In addition to traditional Vietnamese dishes are widely presented Thai, Indian, Indonesian, Chinese and other cuisines of Asia.
Here are seafood, but there are a large selection of dishes of pork, beef and chicken. The Vietnamese eat everything without any restrictions and prohibitions. Special delicacies are the specialties of snakes, turtles, rats, and wild game. In the tourist resorts on the menus of some restaurants you can try ostrich, crocodile, Python, frog, dog. Many believe that in Vietnam eat insects. This is not so. For insects you need in neighbouring Cambodia or Thailand.
Eating in Vietnam is a collective event, so the dishes are served in a common bowl from which the companions take out the pieces with chopsticks. But don't worry, this rule when serving in restaurants are usually does not apply to Europeans.
In contrast to the cuisines of neighboring Asian countries, Vietnamese cuisine is not spicy, and it will appeal to anyone. Still, for all its allure, it is better to exercise caution in the use of the national Vietnamese food on the unaccustomed stomach during the first days of stay in this country. Any restaurants and cafes offer dishes of European cuisine. Increasingly, you can meet Russian cuisine.
The cornerstone of Vietnamese cuisine is rice. Here dozens of types, ranging from the usual (usual for us) and ending with adhesive, or just too exotic black, or red rice. This is not surprising, since Vietnam ranked second in the world in the cultivation and export of rice after Thailand. No Vietnamese meal is not complete with a Cup of rice.
The second most popular dish is rice noodles, although common and egg, but much less frequently. The noodle is thick and thin. It is added to the popular Vietnamese soup, Pho, and fried with vegetables or meat.
As for dairy products, then you can only buy them in stores (prices per liter of milk about Russian). The Vietnamese themselves they read do not use. Instead, a very popular tofu, it is added to dishes quite often.
No vegetables or herbs do not do any one meal. They are added everywhere, as in the already prepared dish, and in addition to the main. Set of vegetables and herbs is about the same as in Russia: potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, cabbage, peppers, onions, parsley, cilantro, Basil, mint, etc. Specific flavors of Vietnamese cuisine owes plants: lemongrass, mint, and many others. Chinese seasonings of garlic and onions, fresh ginger root and soy sauce are all inherent and Vietnamese cuisine. A constant companion of the dishes in Vietnamese cuisine is fish sauce "nuoc mam" and "nuoc Cham".
Popular Vietnamese dishes
In our opinion (of authors), Vietnam will not surprise very interesting and delicious dishes, if you have been to other Asian countries. Moreover, Vietnamese cuisine may find it a bit bland or too sweet, often have to add some salt. Fortunately, on the tables of cafes and restaurants always have fish or soy sauce (salt in its pure form is almost never), and you can dish needs more salt. Here are some popular traditional Vietnamese dishes that are worth a try:
- Rice with chicken, pork, vegetables or egg (Rice with chicken/pork/vegetables/eggs) is the most inexpensive and common dish to satisfy your hunger. It's just mixed with the selected filler (chicken, etc.), vegetables and rice, sometimes a little fried in the wok. Is this dish from 30,000 VND and are served almost everywhere. If you just need a cheap meal, then choose it.
- Pho (Pho) – most popular dish among the Vietnamese. It is a soup with beef (pork, chicken), rice noodles, sprouted shoots and greens. Pho is often eaten for Breakfast, although many people eat it for lunch or dinner. Method of preparation may be different, but in the end, when the dish is served, its smell and taste is unique. Definitely at least a single use for tourists, though not the fact that everyone will be delighted with him.
- Spring rolls (Spring Rolls) or Nem (Nem) is a very popular and tasty dish. Despite the Chinese authorship is an integral part of Vietnamese cuisine for many centuries. It's wrapped in a crepe made from rice flour fried vegetables and glass (rice) noodles. Optionally, the filling is added the chopped meat or seafood. Then the ready roll is fried in deep fat. There is an option for vegetarians – so-called Fresh roll (Fresh rolls) – in this case the rolls are not fried. The rolls are usually served spicy, sweet and sour fish sauce. However, keep in mind that in some restaurants under the name of spring rolls served grilled homemade sausages, and it's a different dish.
- Chao or TNW (chao) - a thick rice porridge, which is most often served with finely chopped pieces of chicken or beef. White rice and water are mixed and then boil until then, until the rice is soft and seethe, turning to Chao (porridge). Then there is added for a taste of nuoc mam (fish sauce) and lemongrass. Chao served hot. It is also a great remedy for upset stomach!
- Bun (bun) – vermicelli from rice flour. The noodles prepared from rice flour, making small, round white threads, which are then rolled into small coils called con bun (rice vermicelli coils). There are many ways of cooking rice vermicelli, each dish has its own unique taste. Bunch cooked with roast pork, while Bunyak includes river snails. Finally, bunbo, which is prepared with beef.
- Kom Banh (banh com) – one of my favorite Vietnamese desserts, which can be found everywhere. It's kind of sweet cakes made from glutinous rice, peas and coconut shavings, wrapped in banana leaves.
Food prices in Vietnam
The price of food and food in Vietnam for tourists are very much varies from place to place (city) and level of institution, and is usually higher than for the locals, but in General not higher than in non-capital regions of Russia. Here are some prices for reference:
- Bank beer 0.33 l – 8 200 Dong (26.08 rubles) in the supermarket, from 10 000 in the street shop, from 12 000 in a cafe.
- Soft drink (Coca-Cola, Sprite, etc.) 0.33 l – 6000 (19.09 RUB) in the supermarket, from 10 000 in a cafe or shop.
- Water 1.5 l – 10,000 in the store.
- One meal in a cheap cafe for locals – from 30 000 (95.43 RUB).
- One dish at a cafe for tourists – from 50 000 (159.05 RUB).
- Dinner in a cheap cafe with a beer, soft-drinka, shake – 100,000 (318.09 RUB).
- Dinner in a cafe for tourists with beer, soft-drinka, shake – 120 000 (381.71 RUB).
- One seafood dish (fish) – 100 000 (318.09 RUB).
- One seafood (shrimp, squid, etc.) – 300 000 (954.28 RUB).
Where and what to eat
To eat in Vietnam with no problems. There are many street food stalls, cafes, restaurants for every taste and purse: price per dish starts from 30 000 VND per person (about 95.43 RUB, see Vietnam currency). In large cities (Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh city, da Nang) has an international network of restaurants Mcdonalds, KFC, Burger King. To be satisfied with a couple of food and drink this shake, beer or soda (softdrink they are called here), prepare 100,000 VND (about 318.09 RUB) and more, depending on the class of the institution. The popular resorts the prices are higher, and for lunch you will have to pay 120 000 – 160 000 dongs for one. Seafood platter is very expensive, but if they cost as much as a similar dish with chicken, so the seafood there is only one smell and tails.
The mark-up on drinks in cafes and restaurants is not very big. For example, beer in a shop can cost 10 000 VND, while the café from 12 000. Still, we note that eateries, focused on local (and they quite often eat outside the home), offer pretty good food and for little money, however, the choice of dishes is not great, but the portions are very large.
However, the food in cheap cafes for the local is not suitable for every tourist. If you are even slightly squeamish, is unlikely to be able to eat from a poorly-washed the greasy plates and it is unknown in what conditions food. You can even see pictures like this in the backyard of a local cafe:
There are "Snake restaurants" where you can get snake-eyes will play a show with her cooking (one of the snakes up to 10 dishes, a little of everything: fried snake, boiled, fresh blood of snakes, heart snakes, etc.). They are located in separate quarters, finding them is not easy. Pleasure is not cheap, but interesting and exotic. To try dishes with a snake in "Snake restaurants", but in some simple institutions. The cost of these meals is comparable to the cost of the chicken dishes, but from the snake there's only sandpaper.
In some parts of Vietnam, rat is considered a delicacy and can be found on restaurant menus. Such dishes, for example, the famous border town of Chau Doc in the South, through which lies the majority of discover in the direction of Cambodia. But don't think that all Vietnamese are doing just that eat rats, frogs and snakes. You really have to look for a restaurant or cafe whose menu you will find delicacies and it's worth it is very expensive.
To eat, buying food in shops or supermarkets Vietnam is quite problematic and expensive, because of these supermarkets is not enough, especially in small towns and tourist resorts. Even if you find a shop with products, you will find that the price tags do not exist, and the price of the usual European products, such as milk, Breakfast cereals, much higher than in Russia. On the other hand, if we can find large chain supermarkets, such as "Big-C", "Coop", "A-mart", "Auchan", etc., in which a huge selection of products and low prices. Moreover, in large supermarkets you can find ready to upotrebleniyu meals in plastic pallets, which remains only warm.
For a quick bite perfect option with a baguette, stuffed with different fillings (cream cheese, vegetables, meat, sauces and herbs – optional). To find a tray with the baguettes in Vietnam are everywhere. Cost is also inexpensive, about 8 000 dongs (approximately 25.45 RUB).
Fruits in Vietnam
In Vietnam so many different exotic fruits: banana, coconut, durian, guava, breadfruit trees (Jack fruit), Sapodilla, lychee, rambutan, mangosteen, Soursop, dragon eye, longan, mango, pineapple, grapefruit, pomelo, pomegranate and others. The prices of these fruits, by our standards, very low. The fruit can be bought on the market, at street stalls or in supermarkets. But in the market you can overpay as tourists usually called an inflated price, sometimes several times, so it is best to buy fruit in the shops where prices are quoted or away from the tourist areas.
The fruit is often sold whole, peeled and deveined, usually sold in Thailand.
For reference, the minimum prices for some fruits in Vietnam (per kg.):
- Pineapple - 20 thousand dongs
- Mango - 22 thousand dongs
- Mango round - 38 thousand dongs
- Lamai - 30 thousand dongs
- Mangosteen - 65 thousand dongs
- Naina - 45 thousand VND
- Pamela - 32 thousand dongs
- Pitahaya (dragon eyes) - 20 thousand dongs
- Rambutan - 16 thousand dongs
- Chinese apples - 20 thousand dongs
- Soursop - 30 thousand dongs
- Sapodilla - 35 thousand dongs
- Watermelon - 24 thousand dongs
- Coconut - 20 thousand Dong (1 piece)
- Lychee - 50 thousand VND
Drinks in Vietnam
In restaurant menus and on the shelves you will find everything from a local draft beer to expensive whiskey and liqueurs. There are also plenty of soft drinks, including exotic.
The country produces local wine is decent. Pride is considered the wine made in da lat. It even produce for export. Bottle of inexpensive varieties of 0.75 l from 50 000 to 70 000 VND (approximately 159.05 USD), in tourist areas are more expensive.
Popular local Beers - Tiger, 333, Saigon Special and Saigon, Hanoi, Singha. Beer prices are low, on average 10 000 – 12 000 VND (approximately 31.81 RUB) per bottle (jar) of 0.33 l. in the store. Menu cafes and small eateries, even in tourist areas, wrapping usually small, about 1.5 times the price of the shop. In remote tourist destinations such as Sapa, the price of a bottle of beer up to 30 000 VND. Local restaurants offer beer Bia Hoi for 5000 VND (about 25.45 RUB) per Cup. Widely sold and European brands that cost more.
Don't forget to buy a souvenir home a bottle of whiskey with a snake, Scorpion or other reptiles. They are sold everywhere, but take your time and look at the price. Market prices are not always cheaper than in the souvenir shops or stores. For example, a half-liter bottle in the shop at the tunnel complex of Cu Chi was 35 000 VND, but the same bottle on the market Ben Thanh in Saigon, offered to buy for 150 000! Of course, the market you can haggle, but is it worth if you can buy cheaper at a fixed price? Problems with the export of such bottles in reasonable quantities was observed, but not in hand Luggage, so you have to carefully pack glass bottles in Luggage. The bottle contents can be drunk (from experience), and then pour in the whiskey or brandy many more times.
From soft drinks – lots of fresh juices and shakes made with exotic fruits, which are abundant in the country. From almost every kind of fruit growing here, or mixtures thereof prepared juice or shake with ice. A glass of this drink in a restaurant costs 30 000 – 35 000 dongs. Be sure to try at least once the juice from sugar cane on the street (from 6000 Dong per glass). It will squeeze out of the reeds right in front of you, adding a little syrup, lime juice.
In Vietnam, a very popular local tea, it grows in greater quantity in the region adjacent to the Lat. Choose the Vietnamese prefer to drink green tea, although the country produces and black. Special honor is green tea under the brand name OLONG tea (Oolong tea), it has useful properties and fragrant. Compared to other types of tea, it is pricey, for a package of 200 g will have to pay 60 000 VND. There is a special kind of tea – artichoke. Tea made from artichokes is in the form of a resin (dissolved in water) or dried leaves (brewed as tea).
Local coffee is a terrific taste and aroma. He is not inferior in quality coffee to other countries. Cook it the Vietnamese in their own way – not brewing, and pouring ground coffee with hot water. At will of coffee, you can add sugar or milk, but it is insanely delicious with condensed milk. A Cup in a cafe or restaurant costs from 30,000 VND, if you find cheaper, then most likely, you will be served instant coffee. To buy Vietnamese coffee bean best on the market in Dalat, the packaging 0.5 kg 100 000 VND, but you can bargain. And, in General, in any supermarket, depending on the price, weight, brand, coffee is very inexpensive. Do not buy it in the tourist areas, especially in specialized shops with signs in Russian, it is more expensive here in 1.5 – 2 times. Watch more all about coffee in Vietnam.
In Vietnam, a huge amount of familiar to us carbonated drinks at very low prices, they are referred to as soft-drink (soft-drinks). For example, a small bottle of Coca-Cola 0.33 l in a large supermarket is 6 000 VND, café 10 000 (approximately 31.81 RUB). There are so many interesting and delicious carbonated drinks of local production of exotic fruits, herbs and even vegetables!
Butillirovannuyu water is sold everywhere, even on the streets. The cost is almost the same everywhere - 10 000 (approximately 31.81 RUB) for a bottle of 1.5 liters, cheaper can only be Found in large supermarkets. But it is better to buy water in the shops, preferably with a cellophane package-fuse on the neck. We (the authors) have witnessed the seller of the cafes near the market Ben Thanh in Ho Chi Minh city gathered empty bottles from under the water, went for a few minutes in the house and returned with the same bottle, but filled with water for sale. We can only guess what water he filled them.