We have just been on a food odyssey to Vietnam to get inspiration for the Miss Saigon Menu - more posts coming up...
Every lunch time in rainy and foggy London town, I dream of visiting this little street stand in Saigon.
The family here immigrated from China years and years ago, and bought with them the best Won Ton Noodle Soup to Saigon. I wasn't ever lucky enough to find such a memorable bowl in China!
You can chose to have flat noddle or thin egg noodles or Pho noodles. I love the flat ones with chunks of boiled pork and won tons and plenty of Vietnamese chives. There is something heavenly about the stock. It is fresh and flavoursome in a way I have no words to describe. When I am eating it, it involves me being at one with it. In the few minutes it takes me to eat it - I feel utterly complete!
Jobs are scarce for the huge population of Saigon. Almost everybody has to create businesses for themselves to get by. A lot of families open up restaurants downstairs in their front room and it opens up onto the streets, busting with Hondas and Saigonese rushing from one place to the next. They normally only sell one thing that they are really good at making. As word spreads around, everybody knows to go to a certain place just to eat won ton noodles, pho, mein ga, banh xeo etc. All modest, no fuss, no frills, just simple and great soul rendering street food.
What attracted me to this "living room restaurant" was the antique stand that you can wheel around. Alot of ordinary working Vietnamese people steer away from antiques and anything old. They feel that they have lived in a poor, undeveloped world for long enough and want the new things in life.
However, this family still chooses to use their antique food stand. Perhaps to remind others of our ancestors living within and around us, its their lucky food stand, or that it makes them look different from the rest - if it ain't broke why fix it, or that they simply can not afford to buy a new one - (which I doubt because this place is buzzing)!
About 50p a bowl of food treasure!
I will find out the address and post it here for anyone who visits Saigon, District 10 - far out from the commercial central. This is a must stop. This is real Saigon.