Tuesday, May 14, 2013

One of the world's 50 most delicious foods in Saigon

Finally I tried Assam Laksa - the 7th in the list of the world's 50 most delicious foods at one of a few Halal eateries in Saigon. It reminds me very much our "bun mam"- rice noodles with fermented fish soup. But I would say "Thousand people, thousand tastes". I don't like Assam Laksa.

It's certainly a good dish but by somehow I didn't like it, personally. Maybe I didn't try the authentic one in Malaysia, or somewhere else to compare. Or maybe today was not my day, so I didn't have a good appetite.

                      Assam laksa - one of the most delicious foods in the world by CNN Go - 2011.

It's a noodles soup with a rich taste. Very spicy, sour, sweet, pungent flavour, fish taste and with a lot of veggies: cucumber, lettuce, pineapple, onions...The soup is quite thick, dark brown, the noodles look exactly same our big noodles which I always compare jokingly with "udon". 

            It reminds a strange combination of bún mắm (noodles in fermented fish soup) & bánh canh (Vietnamese udon)

I shared my laksa with my old friend-contractor (as he's the one who has built my houses). He's from Hue (Central Vietnam), where is famous for their super hot dishes. I asked him "how does it taste? is it spicy to you?" he said "not spicy, but taste is strange!" I agreed with him.

I'm curious to learn, if someone who made the list of 50 world's most delicious foods, tastes our "bún mắm", what would he (or she) comment? Will our bún mắm be deserved to be in the list of top 50?

Both dishes share something in common: fish based soup (more accurate - fermented fish based soup for bún mắm), pungent smell, spicy, dark brown colour soup, if Assam Laska is a merge of Chinese and Malay ingredients, so does our bún mắm, another merge of Vietnamese and Khmer flavours. Interesting!

              Exactly same our "đậu đỏ bánh lọt", red beans, pandan leaves flavour worms (!) in coconut milk.

I was not disappointed in Assam laksa, I just don't like it, but when our desserts were served, I feel better, chilled feelings after a spicy laksa. These two sweets, one for me, one for my friend  are so colourful with white-snow shaved ice, white coconut milk, red beans, golden roasted peanuts, red sirup...beautiful combination of colours. The green pandan leaves flavour worms are so soft and that's different from ours. Our sweet is always served in a glass and here - in a bowl.

                 ABC - Ais Batu Campur - literally means mixed ice, a treat to my old friend. 

In this restaurant, I'm sure that the chef probably uses canned coconut milk as I couldn't taste the usual fresh richness, but sometime it would be better, especially for late meal as the natural coconut milk could be too fat and heavy for digestion.
Anyway my mission is completed, I did try a dish that is ranked No 7 in the world's 50 most delicious foods by CNN Go, but how can I try the other 49? Is it mission impossible? Not really as I already taste more than 20 in this list, including 02 from Vietnam. So, why don't you check by yourself how many left for you to gorge on?


  1. Hi nice post! I hope you could try an authentic Laksa from Penang and Cendol from Melaka or Penang some day. ABC Ice Kacang probably can be found everywhere in Malaysia, i would suggest you to try all with street version, yummy!

    1. Thank you for your tip, will try it for sure! Cheers


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