Sunday, February 6, 2011

Food Musings: Vietnamese Desserts*

*or lack thereof

Yes, yes, I know there are desserts in Viet Nam. I know they exist and I'm not about to argue that there aren't any available, but here is what I AM saying. Dessert choices are lacking. So I've been thinking this over for a while now (I've had some time on my hands), and its really became noticeable to me about the lack of after-dinner sweets, particularly when I was in Ha Long Bay.

Before I get into that, let's recap the culinary history of my time so far in Viet Nam shall we?

Right, so in the almost thirty days that I've been in this country, I've gone from sick (due to a small bout of food poisoning) and never wanting to even look at anything Vietnamese food-wise, to back again and loving it (again). I'm even craving Vietnamese food and Im here in the country! Nem rán (North Viet Nam fried spring rolls) dripping in Nuoc Cham (dipping sauce); the smell and taste of fish sauce no longer causing a revolt to my stomach; Bánh mì sandwiches all the time - mmmmm Bánh mì; all those tasty dishes from the Prince Junk at Ha Long Bay, especially the sautéed sliced beef in a garlic and soya sauce with sticky rice, which has now overtaken the The Nam Hai curry dish I passed out over a few posts back as the best meal I've had in this country.

All of those amazing, delicious, savoury meals - my mouth waters just even writing it down, have got me in the Vietnamese food mood. Now keep in mind this almost new culinary mindset has not replaced curry as my ultimate go-to meal the minute I'm hungry, but it comes close.

But (and there is always a 'but' with me and these types of posts eh?).

But something is missing.

Dessert.

Now I have a sweet tooth. I love desserts. I look forward to them especially after a very tasty meal. I'm finding that the concept of dessert hasn't quite been mastered here yet, or maybe I just haven't been to a place where it's really good, like at the Metropole Hotel (oh man if you could just see the selection, I should have taken a picture!!). Sadly, while there I couldn't partake in any dessert eating, I could only drool – I mean look. So what's my point? Dammit I want cake!!! All you get is fruit (which is fine) or some tofu dessert (what?) or if you're lucky in some places, Crème brûlée (no knocks from me against the classic Crème brûlée) but I want CAKE!!! Chocolate gooey cake! I'm laughing as I write this.

We'll see what happens when I go to La Verticale restaurant tomorrow night. Please let me eat cake!!

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