Saturday, January 22, 2011

Dear Phil

Today we went to see the pink cathedral:

Sacratissimo Cordi Jesu means the sacred heart of Jesus.
And afterwards we were hot and thirsty and maybe a little bit hungry too so we stopped at a restaurant across the road for lunch.

We were in for a nice surprise.  Expecting an average pho place (see how spoilt we have become?  Now we talk about 'average' pho places.  We have almost completely forgotten the forlorn bathwater that is pho in Auckland), we were surpised to find a menu full of delicious looking dishes from the Vietnam province of Hue.

We ordered fresh spring rolls of the usual variety - wrapped in soft rice noodles and stuffed with fresh herbs and minced pork.  And hue spring rolls, which are a similar sort of thing, but instead of being wrapped in noodle they are wrapped in lettuce leaf - so they're soft, but they're crunchy and they feel light and delicious and you think you could eat a million of them.  And presentation counts.  This place had tied the lettuce leaf spring rolls up with little strings of some sort chive, that were flowering.

I ordered fresh coconut juice with tapioca. And was surprised when the tapioca pearls each contained a tiny little bite of hard, fresh coconut meat - a little crunch and flavour to temper the softness of the jelly, all bathed in sweetest coconut juice.

But the star of the show was the pork skewers.  Actually, these were also spring rolls, we realised after we ordered them. Because they came with rice paper and lettuce and huge pile of herbs and a delightful yellow dipping sauce.

You pull the meat off the skewer, then wrap in a leaf, or paper, or both
and pile it with herbs and peanuts and garlic and sauce - then dip.

I would have gotten more photos, but Martin insisted that I put the camera away so that he could start eating them immediately.  The little piles in the foreground are a daikon radish and carrot salad, and fingernail thin slivers of fresh, raw garlic. You might also be able to see that the whole lot are coated in crushed peanuts with crispy strips of fried shallot.

Of course, I think it can't be a coincidence.  This seems to be just an unassuming restaurant on a busy road, but we should have known it would be good with this guy standing over it:

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst
after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

1 comment:

  1. Yum - now I have read this I have to go home and cook dinner!