After our beautiful foot and leg massages and a hot bath we wandered up the road to a tiny shack with a few tables and chairs and plenty of animals. The owners clearly didn’t speak any English and with no menus we were ushered over to the crates in the corner which housed an array of seafood. Choosing a fish and a succulent looking squid we were set. Our friendly Vietnamese helper at the spa had told us that their specialty was sea snail salad an d written it down in Vietnamese for us so we were able to try that too. It was really great to just chose the meat and it be cooked however they chose to do it!
The sea snail salad came out first and was a wonderful blend of herbs and sea snail and a sweet line dressing. The sea avail was sliced and seemed to have two parts, the sucker bit which was more rubbery and calamari like and the body bit which had almost the texture of chicken. When out was bought out the Vietnamese lady got two enormous flat bread crunchy pancake things with sesame seeds through them. She then demonstrated that we had to break a bit off and use it to scoop the salad into our mouths. It was clear that we weren’t getting the other meals until this huge one was done so we scooped and scooped! Two kittens were running around our feet by now, begging for food while two dogs were play fighting with receiver about a meter away.
All this while we could see out fish and squid cooking on coals near us. I’m going to have to try this at come because he literally used a baking tray, coals and a wire rack to cook them to perfection. He gave us two different sauces, pointing to the chilli and fish sauce one fire the ‘fiss’ and the salt, pepper and like one for the… And he underwent a charade to get to squid. The fish had some slices in it’s side where he added some sauce and herbs and it came to the table whole with a big plate of fresh herbs, tomato and cucumber. We were using our forks to dip the fish on the sauce until we got in trouble and were informed with enthusiastic charades that we had to roll the fish in the herbs them use our fingers to dip it in the sauce and pop it in our mouths. Yum!
The squid came out as we were eating the fish and I think the same principle applied. We did get shown repeatedly which sauce to use and it went so well with the squid! Mmmmm. Dad did dare to use the wing sauce for the squid but did so when their backs were turned so not to be told off! We cleaned up the played, much to the disgust of the kittens, and were plied with fresh watermelon and the sweetest ever pineapple!
This adventure was fantastic. It was simple Vietnamese food that packed a flavour punch and the friendly way in which it was served made out all the more enjoyable.