Food Drink

Staples Specialities - Pho - Com - Nem - Herbs Spices - Fruits Vegetables - Fish Meat Fowl - Desserts - Regional Specialities - The North - The Centre - The South - Drinks - Celebrations - Where To Eat Drink - Quick Eats - Vegetarians Vegans - Habits Customs - Table Etiquette - Cooking Courses - Eat Your Words - Useful Phrases


Enter the Vietnamese kitchen and you will he convinced that good food comes from simplicity. Essentials consist of a strong flame, basic cutting utensils, a mortar and pestle, and a well blackened pot or two. The kitchen is so sacred that it is inhabited by its own deities. The spiritual guardian of the hearth must have its due and the most important object in the kitchen is its altar. The Vietnamese like to eat three meals a day Breakfast is simple and may he pho or congee (rice porridge) Baguettes are available at any time of day or night, and go down well with coffee.Lunch starts early, around 11am. People traditionally went home to eat with their families, but many locals now eat at nearby street cafes. washing the food down with lashings of bia hoi. Dinner is a time for family bonding. The dishes are arranged around the central rice bowI and diners each have a small eating bowl. When ordering from a restaurant menu don't worry about the proper succession of courses. All dishes are placed in the centre of the table as soon as they are ready. It may seem like gastronomic Russian roultte. has just spin the cylinder, pull the trigger and take your change. The worst blast you can get will come from the spices.
Do wait for your host to sit first.
Don’ t turn down food placed in your bowl by bowl your host.
Do learn to use chopsticks.
Don't leave chopsticks in a V-shape in the bow! (a symbol of death).
Do use the cold towel that is usually provided
Don't jump out of your seat when somebody pops open the cold towel
Do tip directly to the staff and not with the bill , as this will ensure the staff get the gratuity.
Don't tip if there is already a service change on the bill.
Do drink every time someone offers a toast
Don't be sick or pass out face down on the table if festivities go on all night.