fuck yeah noms

Where:
Tiệm Bánh Mi Phương
Hoang Dieu Street, Hoi An, Vietnam
(This site has a great map and pictures of the stall – may be difficult to locate otherwise)

Phone:
Lolz – it’s a street stall, just go.

Price:
Even though they charge non-locals double…it’s still only USD1.25 a banh mi.

The deal:
Excessive sandwich rant coming up so TL:DR: BEST FUCKEN SANDWICH EVER. GET NOW.

Banh Mi is a Vietnamese grilled pork roll with a variety of things on a fresh French baguette style roll. Tiệm Bánh Mi Phương is a famous little street stall in Hoi An – Anthony Bourdain went once which has lifted its profile slightly. I can’t think about how many ‘self confessed foodies’ have stopped here and taken numerous photos of these things, letting their Banh Mi go cold in the sake of getting the shot (even worse, I saw a tourist stop, take a photo and not even buy a roll??!). Without doubt, this is the best sandwich / roll I’ve ever eaten in my life. My husband was snacking down on one, delirious and barely pausing for breath – before declaring it the best thing he’d ever eaten on bread ever and that it was the most viscerally satisfying sandwich of his life. We rarely take food photos and we even broke pace to take one (the resulting photo was blurry – husband’s hands shaking too much from the banh).

What can I say – it was fucking unbelievable. From the fresh warm crunchy roll, the yellow mustard sauce (we suspect a mix of butter + mustard), grilled pork, secret dressing (chilli, soy, garlic, sugar….I don’t know the rest of this magic), fresh Vietnamese mint/normal mint/mixed greens/coriander/chives, shredded carrots and radish, the liver pate, fresh chilli, chopped tomatoes and the addition of the deluxe fried egg this is one of those things that you will eat and forever remember. We talked about our Banh Mi for the rest of the night – hours after the main event. We talked about the banh mi this morning. In fact, we’re going back today for another one.

A stream of locals will also frequent this place and they see you sitting there, so they sidle up to the counter and try and hide the fact they are paying the local price (VND10k = USD50c). So, there’s one thing about Vietnam that gets a fuck no from me and that’s the dual pricing system they have for locals v tourists. Sure, it must be annoying as fuck to have these tourists everywhere, sullying your country, mocking your culture by wearing cheap pointy straw hats and throwing money at cocktails which is equivalent to your monthly wage – but the level of foxing in Vietnam is strong and they don’t even seem to care that you know. HOWEVER, the Banh Mi that is forever etched into my dreams and consciousness cost VND25k (cUSD1.25) so how fucking mad can you really get?

Verdict:
Banh! And the mi is gone. MOTHERFUCKEN FUCK YEAHHHHHHH.

Where:
Apple Daily Bar & Eating House
Brookfield Place
Print Hall – Level 1
125 St Georges Terrace
Perth, Western Australia

Phone:
+61 (8) 6282 0088

The deal:
Whenever I come back to Perth, my default response to every price on a menu is ‘HOLY FUCK’ followed by a deep and desperate longing that I wish I knew how to double clutch and drive a truck so I could honk honk my way to a mining job, uncountable riches, a massive sleeve tattoo, a souped up ute and more Pandora jewellery than I could shake an AUD7 coffee at. Stomping around Brookfield Place, my little hometown is all grown up with trendy eateries and the price tag to match. The Apple Daily is the name of the daily tabloid rag in Hong Kong – but here I am in Perth at St Georges Terrace, about to snack on some Asian noms. Apple Daily runs on a no booking basis – so that gave me the opportunity to suck down on an AUD9 cider upstairs for an hour or so and continue my favourite discussion ever when I’m in Perth (wah wah wah Perth is just SO expensive wah wah wah wah can you believe the taxes here?? In HK, it’s only 16.5% tax!! wah wah wah wah). Despite my cynical heart, they’ve made a pretty cool space – bonus points, they haven’t made it insufferably pretentious and they aren’t making me drink out of jam jars which hold AUD20 cocktails with cornball Asian names like ‘Kiss Me Quick Suzie Wong’. I’m always wary of places that do multiple different cuisines (Vietnamese, Filipino, Thai and Chinese) but Apple Daily, even you can surprise an old, cantankerous cynic like me. All of the food we got was very good – the Pilipino (their spelling, not mine) sausage that wraps into a san choy bow style wrap with sticky rice + coriander was a nom nom win. I’m not sure if I will ever get comfortable with paying AUD26 (HKD200+!) for a pad thai, but Perth’s got the minerals so don’t hate the player, hate the game.

Special shout out to our waiter ‘Sunshine’ who started out all smiles but by the end of the evening, he wasn’t playing the game anymore. I’m not sure who took the party out of his life (maybe the toll of people giving him orders was just too much?) but Sunshine was not lighting up the room by the end of the night.

Verdict:
Fuck yeah!

Where:
Amber Dining
15 Queen’s Road, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental
Central, Hong Kong

Phone number:
+852 2132 0066

The deal:
I already wrote about it here – but we returned recently to celebrate my husband’s birthday and yes, it still gets all the motherfucken fuck yeahs ever.  Three more key points to further seal it as the Queen of Fuck Yeahs:

One:  They actually have a NO flash photography rule.  So if some inconsiderate diner pulls out their camera/phone and starts blinding you with science being a pretentious, inconsiderate diner, a fleet of deft waiters will descend upon them and put a halt to their boorish behaviour.

Two:  Don’t be shy with the cheese cart – last time, we delicately selected three types of cheeses each.  After talking about how much we love cheese and declaring that we just wanted a taste of almost all of them, our cheese man delivered with a smile and ever increasing portions.  Cheese Man – you are doing God’s work.

Three:  Said this was for a birthday and we got a complimentary stack of chocolates / petit fours with our coffee + tea.  Did I go home, clutch my stomach and cry about how much pain I was in?  Yes.  Is the saying ‘Go big or go home’ or ‘Got big and went home’?  Lucky they packed me a tiny macaron to go so when the pain and distended belly subsided the next day, I could cram that bad boy into my wanting maw to bring me back to that place.

Verdict: 
STILL FUCK YEAH.  STILL ALL THE MOTHERFUCKEN FUCK YEAHS.  EVER.

One of my best friends had a word document on her laptop called forbidden.doc.  Of course, I did the obvious thing and opened it without asking her.  When I did, it was a series of words that she had decided with her brother were awful and they should never be used.  It included words like munch, paste, moist, pie, cream and the name Craig. I then tried to devise the most offensive sentence for her which consisted of ‘Would you like to munch down on some moist muff cream pie?” and she was suitably horrified and her brother accused me of just wanting to watch the world burn.  I could start a similar word document for FYN, but it doesn’t give me the opportunity for adulation and potential for free meals that writing this publicly on the Internet could.

Let’s face it though, don’t know if I’m going to be snacking down on complimentary meals too often with this curmudgeonly attitude.

More words to add to the FORBIDDEN list (in addition to ‘Welcoming Crunch‘:

  • Even worse than ‘foodie’ – a ‘self confessed foodie’
  • Food orgasm – was your food having an orgasm or were you literally having an orgasm?  Do you realise how embarassing you sound?
  • Down-to-earth
  • People who ‘delve’ into a dish
  • Flavours that shine through – unless flavours were truly incandescent, not acceptable
  • Tempting
  • ‘Worth every penny’ – maybe acceptable if you live in a country which still uses pennies.  Maybe.  Probably not.
  • To anyone, EVER using the word ‘unctuous’ as a positive thing – have you looked up what this definition means? Why are your egg yolks always so damn unctuous?
    Adjective
    1. (of a person) Excessively or ingratiatingly flattering; oily: “anxious to please in an unctuous way”.
    2. (chiefly of minerals) Having a greasy or soapy feel

 

FYI – just had my blood pressure checked and it was low.  Who knew that being this angry could have so many health benefits?

Where:
The Salted Pig (HK websites, YU even exist??)
2/F, The L Place, 139 Queen’s Road Central

Phone:
+852 2870 2323

The deal:
While I was trying to find the phone number for this place, I came across a blog with a billion photos (I can only imagine that this girl’s friends would have spent most of the meal watching her take photos) plus this atrocious description of the Eton Mess dessert at The Salted Pig and it upset me thoroughly. “Banana and fudge brownie chunks lined the bottom of the glass, and were covered in an indulgent layer of cream and topped with small, airy meringues. The flavours came together harmoniously, and the symphony of magnificent textures made my heart sing.” Why do people write about food this way? Why does the Eton Mess have chocolate brownie in it?  Why do I get so upset about food blogs but yet write about food myself?  So if you remember the opening post of FYN, one of the forbidden items was ‘pork belly wank’.  I get it, pork is a great thing – but I hate how people get in this total incoherent mess to prove they are Pork Lovers and pork is just the best thing ever.  Put down the ‘Bacon is the Answer’ tee-shirt.  Fuck me, enough complaining – on with the write up.  Brioche bread came out – not hot though, so going to minus points.  The chacuterie plate was pretty good but the scotch egg is stuck in my craw because it was HALF an egg, coated like a scotch egg and then crumbed.  Salted Pig, how much do eggs really cost?  You really had to give me HALF a boiled egg in my scotch egg to keep your profit margins in check?  Now the disappointment of the night, we ordered the slow roasted pork rack and the meat was nice but there was no crackling.  NO CRACKLING.  Why do you think I’m in a pig specialty place, ordering roasted pig?  To have a healthy day out?  My husband was pretty pleased with the whole affair but for me, I think we ordered the wrong thing.  HKD800 for 2 people + 1 drink each.

The Verdict:
Jury’s out – can’t judge a pork place without eating crackling there.  Will return and give definitive judgment then.

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