I wrote a short column for The Guardian G2 section this week (appears in a week or two) about Saigon streetscoff. In it I ponder its probable disappearance as Vietnam becomes more affluent. One of the first street stalls I blogged selling Banh goi opposite Pho 24 disappeared about two months ago. In fact the whole of Nguyen Thiep Street in District 1 got the streetfood sanitation treatment. In time, I’ll wager the whole scene gets the squeeze and streetfood will only appear in certain zones.
A Singapore-esque hawker market won’t be the scene I’ll be interested in. If you ask me, and admittedly you didn’t, half the taste of streetfood is the street. Take that away and you’ve just got… well… food.
With my old Banh goi seller forced into rapid and early retirement, I’m on the hunt for a new source of this ace fried spicy minced pork stuffed lardtastic snack. I find it at 91 Cach Mang Thang Tam Street. Unlike my old supplier, these guys sell three different snacks. Wee one on the left is 1,000VD, the Cornish Pasty shaped Banh goi goes for 4,000VD and the one on the right is 5,000VD. A one-of-each-please-pan-fried-party-selection-pack will set you back 10 big ones.
And here are your sellers. Say ‘chien’. Now compare this pic with the one at the top of the post. Notice anything different? Yup, where the hell are these two in the top pic? I’ll tell you where they are. Snoring on the floor that’s where. This is mid-day, a reasonably busy time for snack sellers I would guess, so with a sales technique like that in this world you’ve just got to admire their zen-like bollocks to business, business balls. Respect.
I won’t rabbit on about the grub, Check the previous Banh goi post for the usual nonsense. It’s fine stuff and well worth stoppping by to score for yourself. Take a stroll down the road next to this shack and you’ll find it heaving with counterfeight PC/Mac software and gawd knows what else. A mate of mine picked up some technical mapping software. Normally costs something like £2000 in the UK. Set him back $8 or less I think. Scandalous.