My breakfast every morning is provided by IndoChina Queen II hotel and lunch is provided by Hospital E, in Hanoi, Vietnam. The hospital has food brought in every day for our medical team and cooks it up special for us. Everything I am eating in Vietnam is absolutely amazing. Our team is on our own for dinners and we have been playing it relatively safe by going to mostly established restaurants that appear to cater to western crowds, for the most part. We have been relying on an expat who has been living in Hanoi for the past few years and works for UNESCO to suggest places for us to eat and it has been great.
However, I loved our dinner last night because a small group of us (two Vietnamese locals who live outside of Hanoi, one Vietnamese who grew up in Saigon but later moved to Minnesota, one Vietnamese from Australia, a Canadian, a Taiwanese-American, and a Korean-American) went to a local hot spot where they only make a single dish that is referred to as “fish paste.” It is not a paste, though. It is whole pieces of tender fish that has been cooked in secret spices and then fried at your table in what appears to be something like butter-flavored oil goodness with green onions and fennel (my best guess). You eat it with fresh basil and cilantro, rice noodles, peanuts, and fish sauce. I could not get enough of this deliciousness!
Mmmm! Let’s hear it for delicious Asian food!!!