Amuse Bouche – Courses in Economics
Dec 6, 2004
You don’t need to prime the credit card for a decent three-course lunch in Ho Chi Minh City: the streets of Vietnam’s southern capital are lined with choice selections from the country’s larder, available for marvelously small sums. Take a stroll from Ben Thanh market, along Le Thanh Ton street, and stop off at a street-side phó bo stall for your appetizer. Vietnam’s signature dish of beef noodles—flavored with star anise, cilantro and fish sauce—is a soupy snip at $0.30 per bowl.
Ready for mains? Head to the shopping district near the Caravelle Hotel for another savory delight—on Nguyen Thiep street, you’ll find hawkers selling banh goi. This spicy pastry pillow, also $0.30, is filled with minced pork, deep-fried while you wait, and is served in a newspaper wrapper.
Still peckish? Combine a trip to nearby Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens with a treat from the che stall at 25 Nguyen Binh Khiem street. Che are sweet desserts made from various combinations of fruit, beans, tapioca, sugar and sweetened coconut milk, and are hugely popular in the south of Vietnam. At this stall you’ll find a refreshing che dau van (made with haricot beans) for a mere $0.05. Then drive it home with a digestif of rau ma (liquified pennywort), available from the Ben Thanh market food hall for just $0.25. That brings your three-course meal with drink to a whopping $0.90. What was that about never leaving your credit card at home? by Graham ‘Pieman’ Holliday – TIME
UPDATE: I just added the original noodlepie HTML. Hey – our version is better than TIME’s now…