Category Archives: Vietnam

Airplane food upgrades to include banh mi

The hip airline company, Virgin America, has recently upgraded their in-flight menu to include Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches!  I have never been a fan of airplane food, but banh mi seems to be quite a convenient and yummy alternative to your conventional in-flight cuisine.  While Ipork_sandwich290.20090926012834.20091001204656 haven’t had the chance to try Virgin’s banh mi, I’ve been told that it actually costs around US$10 for one.  I think I’ll do my wallet a favor and hit up my local Vietnamese deli before I travel next time.

Thanks Danny for the link!



Philippines’ Typhoon Ondoy death toll hits 293

The number of victims Typhoon Ondoy (also known as Ketsana) has claimed continues to climb, rising to about 293 deaths. In addition, more than 680,000 people are crammed into shelters. The AP reported it as the worst flooding in four decades.

Although I’ve never been to the Philippines, I have a soft spot for the country since my dad spent the early years of his life there. It breaks my heart to see pictures like the one below. Ondoy has also wreaked havoc in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, with estimates of 406 dead in Southeast Asia.

If you’re looking to donate to the Philippines, click here.

As we fobs know, the Chinese believe that bad things happen in threes. A tsunami killed about 150 people people on Tuesday while wrecking American and Western Samoa.  Then, elsewhere in Asia, deaths reached 1,100 in Indonesia from two quakes that happened on Wednesday and Thursday in the city of Padang.



Cafe sua da with extra condensed milk please!

cafesuadaLiving in the Starbucks capital of the world, I consider myself a coffee expert…or rather, addict.  While it isn’t difficult to find 24-hour drive-thru Starbucks on every block in Seattle, my coffee of choice is still a glass of cafe sua da from a local Vietnamese restaurant.  A mixture of individually brewed drip-coffee, condensed milk, and crushed ice, cafe sua da never fails to zap into me the energy I need to get through my work week or late-night exam cramming.  Many people  say cafe sua da offers a stronger taste, fragrance and caffeine dosage versus your commercialized Starbucks cup of coffee.  This is why cafe sua da is gaining popularity, alongside banh mi and pho.

Need cafe sua da on the go?  My personal favorite instant coffee mix brand is Vinacafe.  I always keep a few of these packets lodged into the middle of my textbooks.  Serve it either hot or iced and save yourself time.  Not to mention, your wallet will appreciate it too.


Slurping in style

As if a hot bowl of noodles filled with beef tripe and tendon wasn’t appealing enough! Why not upgrade your pho eating experience with this lantern-inspired pho bowl.phosuperbowl021

Designed by Omid Sadri, an engineer with a passion for art, this unique bowl consists of three layers. Each layer is designed to hold a key ingredient from a delicious bowl of pho.

While I prefer the simplicity of eating my pho out of the conventional plastic bowl, I wouldn’t mind displaying this as an artpiece.

Featured on Yanko Design,  more views of the bowl can be seen here.


Monsoon season meets wedding season

Reports of heavy rain, high winds and  flood warnings will send Americans boarding up their houses and stocking their basements with a supply of canned goods and bottled water.  In South East Asia, this is just another monsoon. Nothing will prevent the Vietnamese from carrying on with their everyday activities, including the celebration of weddings.


Substituting a limo with canoe, this Vietnamese couple in Hanoi embraces their wedding day with all smiles and joy.

Enjoy the rest of the ceremony here. The happy couple was wed this month.


Exxxtreme pho eating challenge

I’m the type of girl who will finish a 22 oz. steak without the need for anyone to challenge me. Kobayashi is my hero, enough said. But when it comes to eating challenges, I usually picture hot dogs and 40 oz. steaks.  Never did it cross my mind that 22 pounds of pho noodles with 2  pounds of beef and tripe could be a food challenge.

Pho Garden in San Francisco offers pho fanatics the opportunity to utilize their slurping skills and attempt to finish a gigantic bowl of this Vietnamese staple in 60 minutes.  For those who are stuffed after one large bowl of pho, imagine three large bowls combined!

This challenge is no joke.  Participants must agree to the rules and sign a waiver of liability before participating in this extreme challenge.  I’m sure the hot broth burning your tongue can be grounds for a personal injury claim. Winners get the honor of having an 8 by 10 inch picture of them on the “Pho Garden Wall of Champions.”  The other incentive of winning this challenge?  The $22 bowl will be on the house!

Ok, time to ask my mom to get those pots of pho started.  Training begins now.

Update (via Art) by the way it’s 2 pounds of noodles…not 22 pounds. Can you imagine eating 22 pounds of noodles?


The Vietnamese Numa Numa: Fail

The Numa Numa phenomenon began when internet celebrity, Gary Brolsma, a.k.a. The Numa Numa Guy, decided to make a YouTube video of himself lip syncing and contorting his face to the lyrics of “Ma-ia hii! Ma-ia huu!  Ma-ia hoo!  Ma-ia haha!”  Since then, this catchy chorus has come back to haunt us in remakes by popular artists like Rihanna in the song “Live Your Life.” I came across a cute school girl Chinese version, as well as a schoolgirl-turned-seductress Korean version.

Then, to my dismay, I came across the Vietnamese version:


Now let’s get this straight, I am Vietnamese and I am proud to be Vietnamese.  We have delicious food, beautiful people and renowned poker champions.  However, when it comes to Vietnamese attempts to recreate Western songs, I have to admit, it is definitely not our forte.  I am a huge fan of Vietnamese music and artists but every time I see a Vietnamese music video of an artist singing a “hip” song, I usually come across artists who look like they hired Derek Zoolander’s stylist and decided to use Adobe flash to create the so-called stunning visual effects.  Let’s not forget the choreography, which is probably inspired by the original Numa Numa Guy himself.

While I will never understand the original appeal of the Numa Numa song, I will never quite make out whether this video scares me (see minute 3:17) or mildly entertains me.

Numa Numa-1, Vietnamese Numa Numa-0

Amy Nguyen, guest fobber