Phước Thạnh, Hue, Vietnam, 2013

Boy, it’s been a hectic couple of months! Forgive me from my blogging inconsistency–three weeks of eating my way through Kansai and Taipei; spontaneous lighthouse sightseeing in Portland, Maine; and hiking through the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee for July 4th weekend. It’s been exhausting and thrilling, and oh dear, I’m not sure if I’ll ever get to a point where my blog posts are written in present tense! 😀 What a wonderful problem to have, to be blessed with the resources and companionship to travel — and to have a bottomless repertoire of experiences to share!

Anyway, I won’t keep you any longer —

phuoc thanh entranceLunch in Hue was at Phước Thạnh Restaurant. Everyone was seated at long tables in the center of the restaurant, with enough chairs for about 15 people on each side.

The food ranges between good and okay. Nothing stands out in particular, but I didn’t leave with a bad impression of the place. Perhaps we were simply victims of inexperienced vegetarian cooking.

First dish was a small bowl of pho, with fried tofu and vegetables. The relatively generous amount of veggies was a pleasant surprise.

I also noticed that–across all of our meals in Vietnam–all of the broths were suspiciously perhaps they used MSG (?) ;). But in all honesty, MSG-flavored soup is better than boiled water with salt any day (unfortunately, this actually happens sometimes).

vegetable pho

Then a tapas-sized plate of bánh xèo. This was really tasty. The pancake was crunchy like taco shells, but not overly greasy. We stuffed these with lettuce, carrots, and cucumber slices.

bahn xeo

Some spring rolls came up next, with vermicelli, mushrooms, and more bean sprouts on the inside. It seems that at least half of every meal we’ve had in Vietnam had deep fried foods. Don’t get me wrong, fried stuff is delicious, but eaten meal after meal, day after day, you start to feel heavy and greasy.

spring rolls

Banh cuon — Vietnamese rice noodle rolls. The rice noodle skin was far too thick. There was naught but a sliver of lettuce and 3 bean sprouts at most.

bahn cuon

I’m not sure what this is called, but it reminds me of 肉圆 [rou yuan, or ba wan in Taiwanese], a Taiwanese street food with disk-shaped translucent dough. It was sticky, and kind of tasteless.

steamed sticky rice

The desserts served in cute pandan-leaf boxes were one of my favorite parts of the meal. In each larger box, there was a black sesame mochi-like ball stuffed with cassava and coconut paste. This was a bit dry for my taste, but I love the flavor of black sesame regardless.


Khanom Man is a cassava cake, made with grated cassava, mung bean starch, tapioca flour, and shredded coconut. This was wrapped in the smaller box and was the one I enjoyed more out of the two. I’m addicted to all things coconut :).

PSA: I also finally caved into getting an Instagram (resisted for so long), so if you enjoy my photography, you can find more of it there!

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