flat·u·lence 1) The presence of excessive gas in the digestive tract. 2) Self-importance; pomposity.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Last week's trip to Vietnam was pretty interesting...

I had to bring this Danish guy around HCMC, talk cock abit, eat good food on company's expense & nod my head when he complained. Hahaha...

A trip to Vietnam will not be complete without the visit of my favourite Vietnamese restaurant:

128 Dinh Tien Hoang
District 1
Tel: (84-8)320 0329

Hidden among a row of shophouse along busy Dinh Tien Hoang street, Phu Xuan is a small but sumptuously decorated restaurant specializing in Vietnamese Imperial Court Cuisine, from Hue state.

A quick google search reveals:

"The owner, Madame Ho Thi Hoang Anh, is a member of an old noble family of Hue royal chefs that were responsible for preparing the emperor's food & royal banquets. According to her, Phu means wealth and Xuan means joy. Historically, Phu Xuan was the original name for Hue, and was the country’s capital city under the Emperor Quang Trung and was the first capital city of the united Viet Nam under the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945). Presently, Hue is the cultural centre of Viet Nam."

These traditional culinary specialities are rich and subtle, and dishes are beautifully presented. Because Hue was once the country’s former imperial capital, it incorporates tastes from every corner of Vietnam. Although a bit more pricey, Phu Xuan is a wonderful place for those looking for an excellent taste of feudal Vietnam...


The Danish dude knew the meals were on my company - he insisted on french food our 2nd nite:

We went to this place called

251 Dien Bien Phu
District 3
Tel: (84-8) 930 3394

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Concealed behind a perimeter of high concrete walls, this very exclusive establishment is housed in a stunningly restored 1900s classical French colonial villa framed by lush manicured gardens and a reflecting pool.

Au Manoir de Khai is owned by this Vietnamese businessman called Hoang Khai. This dude is rich. He owns Nam Kha & Nam Phan, 2 other kickass Vietnamese restaurants. He owns a resort in Hoi An. This dude got rich from the silk textile trade. Respect.

Au Manoir de Khai has got to be Ho Chi Minh City’s most opulent and costly dining experience. The silk and gilt coated interior of this two-storey manor has been lovingly designed by this Khai dude. Imagine - zebra-striped fabrics draped on Louis IV divans, ceilings shimmering with gold-leaf. Very Europhile...

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Expensive french food served in impressively ornate and luxurious surroundings.

We got a bottle of red wine (~ USD48)

I had the
1) Salade de Langrouste - Lobster Salad (VND280,000 ~ USD18)
My appetizer was kinda disappointing. The lobster wasn't exactly fresh and salad itself was uninspiring...

2) Escalope de Foie Gras - Pan Fried Duck Liver in Wine (VND380,000 ~ USD25)

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3 slices of tender foie gras, seasoned with red wine, pan fried to perfection...Food fit for Gods...

It was my first time tasting foie gras. It's hard to describe the taste... let's put it this way: if you never tasted foie gras, you have not experience "melting in your mouth"...

Wikipedia says:
"Foie gras (French for "fat liver") is the fattened liver of a duck or goose that has been overfed. Along with truffles, foie gras is considered one of the greatest delicacies in French cuisine. It is very rich and buttery, with a delicate flavor unlike regular duck or goose liver. Animal rights organizations regard the production method as cruel."

"The geese or ducks used in foie gras production are initially free range, feeding on grasses that toughen the œsophagus. While still free roaming they are gradually introduced to a high starch diet that by itself leads to about half of the enlarged liver's size. The next feeding phase, which the French call finition d'engraissement, or "completing the fattening process", involves forced daily ingestion of feed for 12 to 15 days with ducks and for 15 to 18 days with geese. During this phase ducks are usually fed twice daily while geese are usually fed 3 times daily. The feed is administered using a funnel fitted with a large tube (20 to 30 cm long) which forces the feed into the animal's œsophagus. If using an auger system to drive the feed, the procedure takes about 45 to 60 seconds. If using a pneumatic system, the process takes only about 2 to 3 seconds. Care is taken during the feeding process to ensure no damage to the œsophagus occurs, which could cause injury or death in the animal.

Force feeding exploits a natural process through which geese and ducks store fat in their livers in preparation for winter migration. The feed, usually corn which is boiled with fat to facilitate ingestion, causes large amounts of fat to deposit in the liver producing the buttery consistency."

Jo says:
"Mmmmm..... large amounts of fat..... buttery consistency..... mmmmm...."

"Fuck animal rights! Aren't humans above ducks in the Food Chain?
I'm pretty sure those animal rights activists never tasted foie gras cos if they did, they would be stuffing their own ducks... "

Danish guy had
1) Terrine de Foie Gras - Duck Liver Patte (VND360,000 ~ USD23)
Seasoned foie gras patte served with bread.

2) Confit de Canard - Grilled Duck's Leg (VND370,000 ~ USD24)
Wikipedia says:
"This speciality of Gascony, France, is derived from an ancient method of preserving meat (usually goose, duck or pork) whereby it is salted and slowly cooked in its own fat. The cooked meat is then packed into a crock or pot and covered with its cooking fat, which acts as a seal and preservative. Confit can be refrigerated up to 6 months."

Jo says:
"Yup. The Danish dude loved it. Said it was very tender."

Ohhh, almost forgot, between our appetizers and mains, we were served little portions of lime sherbet, in little martini glasses. Very nice...

WIth 10% VAT, the bill was about USD152
This has got to be my most expensive meal. (My SGD121 aka "Blood of the Toro" date fiasco pales in comparison, haha....)

Dunno if my boss will sign the claim... I kinda remember him saying USD40 is more than enuff for dinner...


Our last day we tried German food:

34 Dong Khoi
District 1
Ho Chi Minh City
Tel: (84-8) 822 3623

Gartenstadt is a little german restaurant and bar in the heart of downtown Saigon. Authentic german food, daily specials, excellent imported beer. Very friendly Vietnamese barmaids... hehehe...

We share a Schlachtplatte. 2 sausages, pork chop, 2 meat loaf, 2 types of sauerkraut, some potato thing & german noodles.
Not bad....but in truth, it's not as good as Werner's Oven's Schlachtplatte. Well, at least the beer was good...


So Katharine McPhee lost...
That's good cos she will not be crazy famous...
Which means she will have to work harder & do more publicity etc...
Which means likelihood of her accepting offers from FHM, Maxim or Playboy is much higher...
Hehehe... Go McPhees!!!