Night 1 – Oct. 4
After several minutes of going around the city, we ended up at Dinky, one of the remaining open seafood restaurants in the city. It was late, after all. I was expecting a light meal of pho or banh mi, but I realized we were in for a real treat.
For dinner, we first had flower crabs, lightly fried and served with sautéed onions and fresh herbs. These were thinner and lighter than the usual crab, but they were bursting with fat and meat, and they were fresh, sweet, and just as tasty.
Next was a big plate of shrimps, along with several bowls of thick soup with crab meat and seaweed. I rarely eat shrimp since they’re expensive, but it was quite surprising to find out that seafood is quite cheap in Vietnam.
What piqued my interest was the assortment of dips served along every dish. There’s vinegar and soy sauce mixed with herbs and spices like lemongrass. One of them was a mix of salt, lemon juice, and chili. The spicy-salty-sour mix was perfect.
I didn’t expect Kim to look delighted that I know 333 Beer. “Ba-ba-ba is popular,” she said. It seems 333 is to Vietnam what San Miguel Beer is to the Philippines. SMB has a heavy aftertaste that suits the Filipino’s taste buds. 333 Beer tastes lighter but just as crisp and refreshing.
The Vietnamese love their seafood, I thought as I looked around. I was not able to read the whole menu, but I could see the place served a huge variety of fish, crabs, and other seafood. They also serve a lot of vegetable and noodle dishes, and the locals eat more of these than meat or rice. This could be why they look lean and energetic. Just what you can expect from a country rich in agriculture.
It was about three in the morning when we arrived to our rooms at Duxton. We were full, a bit buzzed but quite satisfied with our midnight feast. We only have a few hours to rest, but it didn’t matter. We’re going around the city in a while.
Up next… A quick tour around Ho Chi Minh City.