Hoi An’s Specialty: Cao Lầu

Also known as Faifo, Hoi An is a small but beautiful old port town at the Quảng Nam province, South Central Coast of Vietnam. Listed as one of the World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Hoi An is a very good heritage preservation example of a Southeast Asian trading port of the 15th to 19th centuries, with buildings that display a unique blend of local and foreign influences, especially Chinese and Dutch.

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This is a good place to run away from the hustle bustle of a big city. There is not much to do here, however, except shopping (plenty of tailors here, if you want to do a piece of suit, there are loads of choices here), eat (let’s go into that later, shall we?), photography and short tour to the ruins outside of the town. Click here to get more information on how to get here.

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Food in Hoi An are generally pleasant, cheap and tasty (especially when you follow travel guides like Lonely Planet, you won’t be disappointed with their recommendations). There are three dishes that Hoi An are famous for, and that you could literally find at any cafes or restaurants around the town; cao lầu, “white rose” and wonton dumplings. “White rose” (banh bao vac) is basically shrimp dumpling made from translucent dough skin and shaped like a rose (similar like our local “ham kok chai” but smaller and round in shape).

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While wonton dumplings and “white rose” look-alike might be found at other places, Cao Lầu is a local dish only found in Hoi An. It is made with rice noodles (very similar to our “tai look meen” or the thick yellow noodle but more coarse in texture), topped with pork slices, croutons, bean sprout and greens. The ingredients varies from restaurants to restaurants though, with some include crackers and crispy pork rind. It was rumoured that the noodles are made with the water from an ancient Champa well, hence contributed to its unique flavour. These pictures were taken at Bobo Cafe, an family-run eatery that has the usual backpackers fare and local specialties, with a pleasant courtyard seating for night drinks. The cao lầu although tastes kinda plain to our palate, the accompanied meat slices gave it a balance in the overall flavour of the dish.

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Another thing you might notice on the menu is their lassi. Lassi is a popular beverage in Hoi An (surprisingly) and we had them almost everyday.

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Bobo Cafe
18 Le Loi,
Hoi An.

Opens for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Tel: +84 386 1939
Email: thuyph.ha@dng.vnn.v

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DU Project – Du Viet

It’s been a while since my last DU Project’s post and my, many new eateries have been popping out all around Damansara Uptown, especially the corner near to OCBC Bank! We noticed that Tang Shifu, Bone and Pot, Jojo Pan Mee, a nasi padang shop and Japanese fast food concept shop (couldn’t recall the names for both) are the latest addition to this bustling commercial square.

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I had one of the best dry Vietnamese noodle at Viet Passion few years back (now ceased operation) and I couldn’t find any other replacement for it ever since. Du Viet probably is the only Vietnamese restaurant available in DU and located just in front of my office. They’re under the same group that manage La Lot (Pavilion), Du Viet (KLCC) and O’Viet (Sunway). I have been itching to try this place but the other members of the gang (my colleagues) are not so keen… hence, Du Viet has been chucked aside until one fine day, my colleagues finally gave in to my perpetual nagging. :p

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Perhaps I set my expectations too high, as I was a little bit taken aback with the serving size. Although looked very healthy, the portion of the grilled meat on skewers were definitely not enough for the boys. And it would be good too if they have a all-in-one combo for the noodles (grilled meat and spring rolls).

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The Pho Bo Dac Biet (Special Mixed Beef Noodle) was okay, the broth was beefy yet light. Their desserts on the other had, were rather good. Three Colours Delite (bottom left), a combination of grass jelly, cendol, red bean, some coconut milk and low-fat cream topping was refreshing without being overly sweet or heavy to the palate. The Vietnamese Cendol was quite normal, with a great resemblance to our local cendol, except for the red bean substitutes with mung bean.

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Du Viet
41A & 43A, 1st Floor,
Uptown 37, Jalan SS21/37,
Damansara Uptown,
47400 Petaling Jaya.

Tel: 03-7726 8101
Fax: 03-7726 7101
Web: http://www.duviet.com.my/page_outlets_uptown.html
Location map: Click HERE.

More reads from Precious Pea and Food Street (by Eat First Think Later).

Superb Sunday Part 1 : Co Do @ Midvalley Megamall

Gosh, I’ve been sort like neglecting my blog nowadays, with one or two posts per week. In fact, there’s still some backloads hibernating in my hard disk, waiting to see the world but due to work, I guess they’ll need to wait a bit longer. Even now, I’m having stiff shoulders, my neck and back aching and I’m darn sleepy. = = zZzzz

Got to meet up with a non food blogger end of last month which happens to be the same day we had pot luck party at Nigel‘s place. Since the nearest “lepak” place to Nigel’s house is Midvalley Megamall, I suggested there for lunch. And only after that, I got stuck with the question of where to eat. *scratch head, pull hair*

After did some frantic search on the floggers’ posts, WMW’s review on Co Do saved my day!

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Located above Little Vietnam on the cinema floor, one could easily miss it as both Little Vietnam and Co Do uses the almost similar design and colour theme. (Notice the difference on the entrance here and on WMW’s post).

The choices here were not very extensive but enough to keep you occupied for some time. Most of the dishes were on beef, shrimps, lemongrass chicken and rice. We decided to go for their set priced at RM 35++ which consists of:

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Clams and Almond Rice, an addictive stuff! At first sight, it looked kinda plain but underneath it were generous amount of clams (lala) and toasted almond flakes and the rice is very flavourful. We enjoed it nontheless. My only comment: the rice was slightly cold.

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Fish Cake on Lemongrass. Another good stuff, where the fish cakes absorbs all the essence of lemongrass and gave us a pleasant aroma. Can’t go wrong with lemongrass, right?

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Sorry but I don’t quite remember what is this. I think it’s some sort of fish paste wrapped with beancurd sheet, steamed and drizzled with sweet sour sauce. Gonna go try this again to refresh my memory!

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We also like this, Vegetable Rolls. The skin is a bit chewy, nice smooth texture and the ingredients inside compliments the dish. You also get some crunchy sensation from the crushed nuts, nice!

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And last but not least, perhaps the most ordinary dish… Chicken Hu Teau (chewy translucent noodle). The noodle soaked up the broth pretty fast maybe due to that we’re busy chatting and I’m taking my own sweet time to snap the pictures! And look at the amount of shredded chicken breast meat given. Enough to make me come back for more.

Although the service here is kinda slow, we enjoyed the meal and the cozy ambience. If you’re looking for a place to slowly enjoy your meal and some long-winded conversations (:P ) without much distractions, you might want to give Co Do a try.

Now, I’m gonna get myself some bread and hot drink… Maybe no heavy meal tonight. 😦