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.
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 !
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 😉
125 Gouger Street
Adelaide SA 5000