If ever you visit the bustling hallways of Ho Chi Minh’s home, stay at an A&EM hotel. If only for the breakfasts! (Free).
I was in primal heaven this morning.
The buffet was filled with nourishing “real” foods that matched my can and can’t eat list like two aces in a pack of cards. Yesterday, I showed the buffet service dude my travel list of nutrition choices (no gluten, no dairy, low FODMAP) and he was excited to show the chef so that they could create some Vietnamese masterpieces for me the next morning.
This morning. My turn to be excited. He lifted the tin lid of each buffet hot plate and out would float the aromatic equivalent of the music from a wind-up jewellery box. “This you can eat. This no no but this? Oh yes yes yes please do eat.”
I was particularly excited to see a spin-off of the traditional dish known as Canh Canh (chicken broth, pineapple, herb leaves, large chillies and fish). The chicken had been slowed cooked until the bones were soft enough to crunch my teeth through, which is a weird sensation but super good for my own bones and the health of my internal organs. The cartilage and marrow in this Vietnamese hot pot are super healthful.
In all, my feast tallied up to three plates and two little bowls.
I had fried bacon, a bowl of rice and chicken broth soup, an amazing bamboo and tuna salad, canh canh, pork and mint rice rolls in chilli fish sauce, local vegetables in oyster sauce, okra fried in garlic, and a plate of local fruit.
It took me an hour to finish eating (due in part to my mindful eating habits of putting down my chopsticks with each bite and savouring the heck out of it. Oh and the bones. Chomping through bones is hard work), a fact that hubs couldn’t stop reminding me of throughout the day.
And what a day.
Big love from big city Saigon x