Banana Leaf Cafe

Its been nearly two months since my last post but that’s because it was Ramadaan and soon after Eid was my long awaited sibling vacation to Asia.

I am currently posting from Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), the old capital called Saigon. If you interested check out the #siblingvacay on Instagram to follow my trip. You might find yourself experiencing some jealousy as it is summer and Vietnam is absolutely stunning and rich in history and natural beauty.

It is hard to decide what to blog about as most of our food experiences has been local cuisine. In a nutshell this has been our food journey in Vietnam:

* Meal in a buzzing local street restaurant in Ninh Binh after a scenic tour of Halong Bay on land in Hanoi

* Hoi An Village local meal at a cafe along the Hoi An River

* Cooking tour in the heart of a village in Hoi An where we made a three course traditional meal

* Local restaurant in the Imperial City of Hue

* Halal meals found in whats called the “Malaysian Street” in Ben Thanh area, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

The meal that tickled my taste buds the most was at Banana Leaf Cafe(Cafe La Cluioi) along the banks of the Hoi An River in the historical town of Hoi An. I never expected authentic Vietnamese cuisine to create so much fireworks with all its flavours. As we were on a tour the set meal was already preselected by our amazing hotel Sofia in Danang. The set menu consisted of these 7 foods:

1. Vegetable Curry and garlic bread
2. Banana Flower Salad with prawns
3. Griller fish in banana leaf
4. Saute sweet & sour calamari
5. Fried green beans
6. Steamed rice
7. Fresh fruit salad

The veggie curry reminded me a lot of Thai cuisine as the flavour was pretty much the same. It consisted of sweet potato which was purple of colour and harder than we used to, potatoes and carrots. The next dish was a banana flower salad with prawns and served with rice paper. Banana Flower Salad was my favourite, like the name says it consisted of the bottom flower which looks a bit like onion. It also had noodles, grated carrots, amazing flavours and topped with sesame seeds and fried onions. I mastered eating this with chopsticks.

Next up was the griller fish which was served wrapped up in a banana leaf. The flavour that the banana leaf pulled through was surprisingly extremely tasty. The fried green beans was normal shoe string beans served as a side dish. The last main meal was the calamari which was the typical tastes of Chinese sweet & sour. This was accompanied with steamed rice grown in Hoi An very own rice fields. Lastly dessert was a plate of fruit consisting of the Vietnam fruit dragon fruit. It doesn’t have much taste, but the more you eat it, it develops a unique taste like a melon. The other fruits were the sweetest watermelon and banana.

If you ever find yourself in Hanoi please do visit Banana Leaf Cafe. Vietnamese are very dependant on tourists and their contribution to the local businesses.