An Ode to Vacation Food Vocabulary

By Christina Kim - February 24, 2016


It was interesting how we ended up tasting more of the local Vietnamese dishes while on our weekend in Mui Ne; and even more so right under the roof of the resort where we stayed.
(As I have mentioned earlier, the resident restaurant was so good that we barely had to leave to hunt for food outside).

The whole retreat experience was made even more enjoyable especially with such delectable treats on the same grounds.
A place with stunning views offering that window into the local lifestyle topped with facilities and amazing hospitality; with even food which suited our palates sounded just too good to be true, but that was exactly my experience.

From the appetizing varieties on the breakfast spread to the tantalizing menu for all-day dining, all I had to do was to drag my feet out of the comfy couch and bed of my room to the dining area which is just right beside the pool.

Listening to the songs of the sea and feeling the sea breeze landing that light peck on the cheek throughout my meal was just heavenly.

It is that kind of vacation that leaves one dreaming of it even long after leaving the premises.
That is my kind of vacation.

That good experience was only made better with the introduction of a few local and famous Vietnamese dishes which I added to my food vocabulary on my stay here, and just like the stay experience, even the tastes seemed to be lingering in my memory until this very day.

To feel well, one must dine well, and what more, when there are sumptuous dishes to tempt my palates every day?

Banh Cuon 
One of the wrap and roll dishes; made of rice flour rolls typically stuffed with ground/minced pork, prawns and wood ear mushroom and can even be complemented with sausages to one's liking.
There are just many ways to enjoy this, to one's personal preference.



Banh Xeo
This is the Vietnamese version of pancake; made of rice flour, turmeric, shrimps, sliced onions, pork (fatty slices), mushrooms (usually button) and fried on a pan using coconut oil (one of the most preferred cooking oil in Vietnam).
The dough will be pan-fried to a flat shape of a pancake as depicted.


There are various ways to enjoy the Banh Xeo; just like most of the other Vietnamese dishes, it can be eaten along with the raw vegetables - usually lettuce and dipped in nuoc mam (fish sauce) or a tasty dipping such as a fermented peanut butter sauce.
One can also opt to wrap up the Banh Xeo with rice papers along with other vegetables as another way to enjoy the combination.
The Vietnamese can be really creative when it comes to enjoying their food.


An interesting dish to try in Vietnam is the Ca Kho To; which is caramelized fish in claypot.
The fish typically used is the cobia fish; or a type of catfish.


Typically served along with white rice since this is a dish to go with rice anyway, the thick and rich tastes of the gravy goes along well with the fragrant and mild taste of the white rice.


The fish is usually served in fillets; and the fish selected tends to lend its naturally silky and creamy texture to enriching the gravy already enhanced by its caramelized base.
The caramelizing also acts as the perfect complement to the fish's natural quality by further promoting the richness which makes this a perfect and luscious combination.
You can only imagine the tastes as it melts in your mouth.

And to think the locals only refer to this as an ordinary everyday dish, as they say.
I'd say this is a winning combination.

One of my personal favorite and also reputedly the local's popular sweet treats is this Banh Dau Xanh; or Mung Bean Cake.
They can be found in two versions; either the wet or baked to dry types (usually packed to be sold in boxes and last longer).


The ones I found here kept me captivated that I could not resist having a few pieces every morning; even though it was for breakfast.
I blame the restaurant for serving this for breakfast, it really is not fair, but who sets the rule that we can't have sweet cakes for breakfast?
This is just like our local Malaysian kueh, and it's addictive. 
You've been warned.

There are also takes on mixing it up; creatively played by the home chefs in serving a varied and exciting spread each day to awaken the guests' senses right at that first call of the day.




From local tastes to that window to international gourmet, the chefs here are equipped to keep their guests happy throughout the day (not only breakfast).









Nothing says a good vacation than good food as company, and I have been taken on a ride through Vietnam and around the world, and back.
(With a few additions to my Vietnamese cuisine vocabulary; and a more polished palate definitely!)


Featured in this post: 
Tansy Restaurant
Resident restaurant in Aroma Beach Resort and Spa, Mui Ne, Phan Thiet, Vietnam

*Author's Note: 

This is not a sponsored/promotional post, and solely based on author's personal opinions and do not represent the general public. 
Experiences vary from one individual to another.
You do not have to agree with me.

Art Direction and Photography Styling by Me.
Photos/Videos all belong to me and are copyrighted.
Please kindly ask for permission if you need to use any of my images.

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