Tag Archives: Cuisine

Good morning Vietnam!

At the moment, it seems that I have a thing for vietnamese food and I can’t get enough of it. When you think of it, it is not that surprising, Vietnamese and French cuisine have history.

It all started in the 17th century with the arrival of Catholic missionaries in Vietnam. But it did not stop there, then France colonized Vietnam and Cambodia forming the Indochinese Union in 1887 which was the start of the French influence in Vietnam for the next 70 years to come! So naturally when you stay that long in a country, you leave pieces of yourself in several ways: be it architecture, culture, words, names and of course cuisine. I find it fascinating to discover (and taste) the French influence on Vietnamese cuisine (the tasty baguette sandwich called Bahn Mi is one of them). For sure it is different comparing to what I am used to in my home country, and sometimes it is hard to make the link between the two countries but there is something magic about all these flavorful dishes and I can’t help being attracted to them (maybe it is in my DNA).

For those who know me well, I often go to Central Market in China Town. Most of the times to buy herbs or lemon because the quality and the price is much better than what you would get in the supermarkets and also the atmosphere is really nice and friendly.

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In the mood for vietnamese food 🙂

Last time, I went there, I remember it was a beautiful day and as I was feeling a bit hungry I thought I should pass by Little NNQ and see if it was not too crowded. This is a vietnamese restaurant and it is quite popular so it can be tricky to get a good seat sometimes. This place has been recommended to me by John’s vietnamese friend, his name is Phong and lives in Adelaide (and John is American from California who happens to know a lot of people everywhere because he has traveled and worked in so many countries). Luckily the odds were with me and there was a lovely table by the window and the friendly waiter told me I could sit here. As it was a beautiful day, the large windows were opened so it was like I was sitting at the terrasse outside watching people passing by, cars honking and for a minute imagining I was in another country, in a galaxy, far, far away…haha. As things were going well for me, I decided to continue playing my luck and I asked the waiter to choose his fav dish for me. Besides, as I felt adventurous, I opted for the Vietnamese coffee. Normally I’m not the kind of coffee drinker type (I am more into chai or matcha latte) but I’m always happy to try new things and this was the opportunity to get the true vietnamese experience… besides one coffee can’t hurt, can it ?!

My dish was a combination noodle salads. It was very colourful, tasty, crunchy and pretty healthy I believe. So I really enjoyed it and I really recommend it! But I must confess, my favourite part was definitely the Vietnamese coffee as I’ve never had this kind of experience before. By the way, I apologise I have not a lot of pictures to demonstrate the technique but I think I was so overwehlmed by this experience that I completely forgot to document it, my bad !

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Time to relax and catch up as the coffee is slowly dripping into the condensed milk!

First the coffee was served in a slow drip filter tool. So basically, the coffee was slowly dripping into the condensed milk in the glass just below it (one drop at a time, so it is a long process). The waiter explained to me that in Vietnam locals would use this time to chat and catch up with their friends while waiting for the coffee to fully drip through. Once it is finished, all you have to do is to transfer the content in a glass full of ice cubes, and enjoy your ice coffee with a straw.  So basically drip coffee is the way Vietnamese people create and enjoy conversation with their friends or relatives. I ❤ the concept, I must say and I can’t wait to renew this experience with my friends next time!

Just so you know the Vietnamese coffee has a strong taste (always Robusta, twice as strong caffeine wise, so be prepared to jump like a kangaroo after that ). Once again, it is one of the many heritage from the colonists period. The French introduced coffee to Vietnam in the 1800s, they also brought with them condensed milk as they could not get fresh milk in Vietnam and they also brought phins which is a slow drip filter that sits on top of a cup. Since that time, it has become a tradition in Vietnam to enjoy coffee this way. It is more than just coffee, it is an invitation to relax and chat.  I think that the combination of the bitter coffee beans allied with the sweetness of the condensed milk and the cool refreshing kick of the ice cubes just work perfectly! I think I have officially became a Vietnamese coffee lover ❤

So next time you are in the mood for Vietnamese food, why not go and try Little NNQ with some friends and indulge yourself with a Vietnamese coffee while chatting remaking the world. Vietnamese coffee will boost your body while relaxing your mind, call it magic or mystique, the choice is yours 😉

Little NNQ

125 Gouger Street

Adelaide SA 5000

http://www.nnq.com.au/littlennq/

Speak, cook, love

Tuesdays rhyme for me with English class and cooking! Actually there is an original free English conversation class at the North Adelaide Community Centre hosted by the talented and hilarious Malcolm. The theme of this class is: World cuisine. People from all continents attend to this joyful English class, there are no homeworks, no grades but only one rule: each participant is invited to share about his culture and his country through cooking. In my opinion it is a very interesting concept and a good way to practise English while learning about other customs and fooding. Malcolm puts everybody at ease, he is a very encouraging teacher and he has a lot of humour so everybody, even beginners, has an opportunity to speak! There are very interesting stories to hear about and it is like traveling the world! So many foreign countries are represented: China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Spain, Iran, France, Italy, Croatia, Chili, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela… it is wonderful to be surrounded by all these different accents and good vibes. I have met really amazing friends thanks to this class and it has made a huge difference in my experience here for sure!

IMG_1153Once a month or so, thanks to Malcolm and our amazing coordinator Kellie our English class takes place in the community centre kitchen. We cook all together traditional dishes from our respective countries but also sometimes Australian meal (like Anzac biscuits) and learn about the story behind. Malcolm says that it is a good exercice for us to put our English into context with real life practice: reading recipes in English, understanding the vocabulary, solving problems together, connecting with each other, joining forces… The results is always incredible, so many different ingredients, colours and flavours: the world in a plate! We have a lot of fun as you can see by yourself in the following short video. If you start watching at 1:14, you will see our teacher Malcolm being interviewed about this wonderful class and if you pay attention you will see me as well with my friends at the North Adelaide Community Centre kitchen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ip0LqXRDRpg

 

IMG_0469But the fun does not stop here, because after the cooking we can taste all these lovely dishes and share with the community centre guests. Again it is another opportunity to meet locals, mingle, express our opinions and please our palate with worldwide food. I am glad we have also the opportunity to taste Australian traditional dishes: pavlova, lamington, anzac biscuits… because we don’t have those in our countries and the point is to learn more about Australian culture because this is where our ❤ is at the moment. So come and join us at the North Adelaide Community Centre, you will love cooking and speaking English for sure!

North Adelaide Community Centre

176 Tynte Street

North Adelaide SA 5006

Tel :(08) 8203 7990

I’ve had the “Thai” of my life!

I really enjoy Thai food: the dishes are a combination of lively colours and the flavours are always a real treat for my demanding palate!

Yesterday, we went to a lovely restaurant in Adelaide CBD on South Terrace, it is called ‘Thai Chef’ and I was really glad we did! I have been meaning to go to this place for a long time but I guess I had to wait for the perfect opportunity! Yesterday, my friends were in the mood for Thai food so we took our chance!

Actually this restaurant is pretty popular and has received many good reviews. Furthermore I had the opportunity in December to attend to a cooking presentation at the North Adelaide Community Centre and ‘Thai Chef’ cooked for us an amazing selection of authentic dishes during this event! You see it is a family business: the dad is the Chef, the mother is helping him in the kitchen and the daughter is taking care of the customers. So no wonder the atmosphere in the restaurant is so friendly and welcoming… it feels nearly like home!

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Colourful dishes at Thai Chef

We had a lovely time I must say.  The dinner started with a complimentary dish (stuffed chicken wing), I love surprises so it was a yummy start! Then all the beautiful plates were placed on the table and it smelt so good! We ate crispy cashews prawns, crispy cashews chicken, satay chicken, spring rolls and an amazing roast pork fried rice… I am still dreaming about this rice, it was so good! It was authentic and flavory cuisine cooked with passion! I could really savour each ingredient and I loved the crunchy texture of my meal!

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Crispy cashews prawns

I am so glad we came to this place because I really enjoyed each bite and I am curious to try the other dishes now. Anyway, I don’t know how I managed the miracle to save place for dessert but I did and I had the pleasure to taste the sticky coconut rice with egg custard… OMG… I think I have fallen in love with it. You know I have a sweet tooth, I can’t help it, this is how I am and the definition of a perfect dinner for me includes to end with a mouth watering dessert! It is like  literature, you have to end on a mind blowing note to fully appreciate it… if you miss your final you lose the magical effect of this unique moment.

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Sticky coconut rice with egg custard… so good!

Well done Chef! My dessert did not let me down and it was the perfect conclusion to a lovely evening in good company.  Eating at ‘Thai Chef’  is not just about amazing food, it is also a real experience! Somehow you have the feeling that you are part of the family and you are their guests (a great place for celebrations). The staff is absolutely lovely and will be happy to have a little chat with you to put you at ease. Once a month or so, the Chef holds a morning tea where he cooks for his guests for free and everybody is welcomed to join… ‘Thai Chef’ is that generous and friendly ❤

 

Thai Chef – Modern and Authentic Thai Cuisine

1/465 Pulteney Street,

Adelaide, South Australia 5000

Tel. (08) 8232 8896

 https://www.facebook.com/ThaiChefSA