$$ \newcommand{\dint}{\mathrm{d}} \newcommand{\vphi}{\boldsymbol{\phi}} \newcommand{\vpi}{\boldsymbol{\pi}} \newcommand{\vpsi}{\boldsymbol{\psi}} \newcommand{\vomg}{\boldsymbol{\omega}} \newcommand{\vsigma}{\boldsymbol{\sigma}} \newcommand{\vzeta}{\boldsymbol{\zeta}} \renewcommand{\vx}{\mathbf{x}} \renewcommand{\vy}{\mathbf{y}} \renewcommand{\vz}{\mathbf{z}} \renewcommand{\vh}{\mathbf{h}} \renewcommand{\b}{\mathbf} \renewcommand{\vec}{\mathrm{vec}} \newcommand{\vecemph}{\mathrm{vec}} \newcommand{\mvn}{\mathcal{MN}} \newcommand{\G}{\mathcal{G}} \newcommand{\M}{\mathcal{M}} \newcommand{\N}{\mathcal{N}} \newcommand{\S}{\mathcal{S}} \newcommand{\diag}[1]{\mathrm{diag}(#1)} \newcommand{\diagemph}[1]{\mathrm{diag}(#1)} \newcommand{\tr}[1]{\text{tr}(#1)} \renewcommand{\C}{\mathbb{C}} \renewcommand{\R}{\mathbb{R}} \renewcommand{\E}{\mathbb{E}} \newcommand{\D}{\mathcal{D}} \newcommand{\inner}[1]{\langle #1 \rangle} \newcommand{\innerbig}[1]{\left \langle #1 \right \rangle} \newcommand{\abs}[1]{\lvert #1 \rvert} \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\lVert #1 \rVert} \newcommand{\two}{\mathrm{II}} \newcommand{\GL}{\mathrm{GL}} \newcommand{\Id}{\mathrm{Id}} \newcommand{\grad}[1]{\mathrm{grad} \, #1} \newcommand{\gradat}[2]{\mathrm{grad} \, #1 \, \vert_{#2}} \newcommand{\Hess}[1]{\mathrm{Hess} \, #1} \newcommand{\T}{\text{T}} \newcommand{\dim}[1]{\mathrm{dim} \, #1} \newcommand{\partder}[2]{\frac{\partial #1}{\partial #2}} \newcommand{\rank}[1]{\mathrm{rank} \, #1} $$

Bun Cha

So, here I am again, in Ho Chi Minh City. Do you know what does it mean?

Eat, eat, eat.

I repeatedly told an ex-colleague that I would go back to Vietnam, just for the food. Vietnamese delicacy are godly. For me, it’s the best food so far that I’ve tasted, with Malaysian food in close second.

Hence why, last afternoon I took a 10 km walk from District 4 where I stayed all the way to the very center of District 1.

Two days ago, when I came back from the excellent War Remnant Museum, I stumbled upon a Bun Cha Hanoi restaurant. I was very tempted to go in there, however, my stomach couldn’t take any more food, as it was full of Com Tam Suon Nuong I just devoured. So, I made a mental note: this is your objective for later!

Entering the restaurant, immediately I was approached by one of the waiter as I was sitting down. Then I just ordered: one Bun Cha, one extra Bun (rice vermicilli noodle). I tried to speak in Vietnamese. In theory it would be easy, I should just told him: mot Bun Cha, mot Bun. Except, it wasn’t easy at all. Vietnamese alphabet and pronounciation are a complex beast, I got a hard time to pronounce Vietnamese words correctly. I’m going to stay in HCMC for a month, and I’m determined to learn the basics from my host and the locals.

When the order came, I got a second thought! I also wanted a Nem! Nem is a deep fried spring rolls with crab filling. It tastes really good!

So, here it was, the Bun Cha, one extra Bun, and a Nem:

Bun Cha

Bun Cha is definitely my favorite food so far! The soup is really good, the meat is tasty, the nem is full of flavor, the bun is … well, filling. Seriously though, if you haven’t ate Bun Cha, you’re seriously missing one of the best food in the world.

I first met Bun Cha two years ago when I was in Hanoi during my two weeks Vietnam travel. I was instantly hooked up when I tasted the soup for the first time. I thought: is Hanoi the Vietnamese word for Heaven? Close enough, I guess.

Anyway, to eat Bun Cha, I like to grab some bun, then dip it in the soup, put it in my mouth, grab a biteful of the meat, and finish it with a mouthful of fresh vegetable. Talking about the best feeling in the world. しあわせ, as a particular Japanese told me during the trip in Bagan, Myanmar.

The second best part of all these things is that Bun Cha (or anything else for that matter) in its homeland, Vietnam, won’t break your bank. Here’s what they billed me:

Bun Cha

$3, what a steal!

There is one caveat. To get the very best of Bun Cha, you should get it in its land of origin: Hanoi. Not saying that it’s bad elsewhere else, but I sure do think that Hanoi is the pinnacle of Bun Cha. So, make this mental note: Bun Cha is Hanoi, Hanoi is Bun Cha.

There are still a lot of great foods waiting for me to eat them out there in HCMC. Don’t be surprised if next several updates are all about foods!