Ohayo dear subscribers.
Sorry for the brief silence; I’ve been eating my way through Phnom Penh. And believe me, at every bite, have been earnestly yearning to do a blog-post and share the deliciousness with you. I ate many things in Cambodia; street food, restaurant food and lovingly home-cooked meals. Interestingly, some of the most delicious foods I ate in Cambodia were of Vietnamese origin; cooked and sold by Vietnamese folk. After the classic Banh mi (an out-of-this-world sub), the two following VEGAN treats were my favourite.
The first was a mixture of Xoi (sticky rice – white, black and green-tinged) mixed with black-eyed peas, wrapped in a thin crepe (like a burrito) and topped with shredded coconut and palm sugar. It was served hot in a small plastic bag. My lovely friend and expert tour-guide instructed I squeeze the “burrito” together tightly (whilst still in the plastic) so that later it wouldn’t fall apart. Imagine a hot sweet coconuty burrito with a rich fruity aroma. Oh mama. One cost 0.40 cents. 10 more please!
The second was a hot sweet tofu drink sold by the most adorable little man. An adorable little man with no sign or model or any indication whatsoever of his product. Luckily, I was accompanied by a local who instinctively knew the contents of this man’s two pots. The drink was ordered and I was WOWed. Firstly, my cup was filled with hot silken tofu, followed by warmed coconut milk and lastly, topped with a strong ginger syrup. It was seriously yummy in addition to being VEGAN and HEALTHY. In other words, my next trip is to Vietnam. For if the rest of Vietnamese food is anything like these two (three including bahn mi) then I’m in lurve! A mere 0.25 cents for one. Yes, you read that right.
Christchurch’s culinary scene, in particular, the food truck realm is rapidly booming (to which my stomach screams “yay” and my jeans howl “nay” but never-mind me). As of recently, much has been said of Callum Farrell leaving his head chef position at Mexicanos and opening his very own vietnamese style food-truck called Street Food. Although everyone’s raving about Callum’s Bahn Mi (a gorgeous crusty white baguette filled with pate, pickled Asian vegetables, fresh coriander, fresh chilli and your choice of spiced and marinated meat or tofu), I’m all about his rolls. No, that is not a Meghan Trainor reference, the rolls I’m referring to are fresh, handmade rice paper wraps filled with vermicelli noodles, carrot, daikon, cucumber and fresh herbs with your choice of BBQ pork belly, coconut chili chicken or chilli and lime tofu. No offence Callum, your Bahn Mi looks, smells and obviously, from what I’ve read all over the internet tastes great but personally, I’m not a big fan of white bread. As a treat or epic cheat meal i’ll happily chow down on a juicy bahn mi but I definitely couldn’t eat one on the daily. Your fresh summer rolls on the other hand are a whole other story. Holy Dooley, I have literally never tasted something this healthy be so incredibly tasty and genuinely satisfying. What I’m trying to say is, usually with healthy foods a little
trickery imagination is required. I mean, come one guys, does anyone actually like quinoa or green smoothies? Usually, everything delicious that I crave is bad for me but I could eat 10 of these babies (when the two that comes with each order is more than sufficient) and not feel an ounce of guilt!
So, if you find your stomach grumbling in the CBD, immediately locate Street Food (usually at 100 Peterborough Street), order a summer roll, swirl it in the finger-lickingly delish dipping sauce, crunch down, sit back and allow the mouthwatering flavours instantly transport you to the tropical streets of Vietnam.