Sunday, 29 August 2021


We decided to have a belated birthday meal for Andrew. The day itself was a couple of weeks ago.

"Don't rely one me to decide." Andrew states helpfully.

"How about somewhere in Chinatown?" I suggest.

As no-one screams at me in rabid opposition, I search for options on Zeedijk, heart of Chinatown.  Oh look - Vietnamese street food.

"Do you fancy Vietnamese?"

It's met with almost as enthusiasm as my Chinatown suggestion. Little Saigon it is, then.

After flirting with the metro, we opt for the good old No. 2 tram and walk through. Past Wildeman and the Beurs. Through the narrow streets of the Red Light district, over an bridge and there we are.

It's the kids' first taste of Vietnamese food. Let's see what they think. Probably like it, given their reaction to other Asian food. I order a shitload of starters and a pho. I can't not have a pho.

My pho comes with a plateful of foliage and bean sprouts. And what looks like one small chopped chili.

"You not going to put that in without knowing how hot it is?" Andrew asks.

"Of course. It'll be fine as long as I mix it in  well."

"Do you think this is spam?" I enquire of Alexei. He's quite the spam connoisseur.  

"It's tofu."

"Try it."

"It's tofu."

I don't know. It could be tofu. Does have a porky tang, mind.

The kids are very happy with their duck. It is, indeed, rather nice.

I'm struggling with my noodles. The little slimy bastards keep wriggling off my chopsticks. This is frustrating. The spoon meant for sucking up the broth is equally ineffective. Dolores has already finished her noodles. I console myself with the thought that hers were thicker than mine, hence easier to handle. It's not just my crap chopstick technique.

"Im giving up on the noodle. Just too annoying."

"Why don't you at least eat the broth, dad?" Alexei suggests.

"Remember Andrew told me not to put in all the chili without knowing how hot it was? He  was right. See what you think, Alexei."

"Not bad." 

He takes another couple of spoonfulls, before losing enthusiasm. I guess it's too hot for him, too.

Me and the kids are drinking Saigon beer.

"I wonder where that's brewed? I bet it isn't Vietnam. Take look on the label Andrew."

"I doesn't seem to say."

After much searching he finds the answer: Vietnam. No wonder it tastes a bit oxidised.

We drop by de Prael on the way back to the tram stop. Just a couple of beers to stave off dehydration on the 30-minute tram ride home.

It's just enough. Luckily, there's an Abt on hand at home.

Little Saigon
Zeedijk 88-90.
020-737 2491

No comments: