a little bit of silliness....click on the picture to create a fly for it to eat....

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Back online...

Last week the catering crew invited Amanda and I to join them for a team dinner.  Then, not unusually we heard nothing more.  As the evening drew in we got in touch with Jonny to find out where we were supposed to go.  Amanda was still working at Koto's restaurant so Jonny and I were directed to go back to the training center to meet up with Trieu and Tuan.  They met us on the road and told us they would meet us at the restaurant so we hopped in a cab and headed into town.  However when we arrived they were nowhere to be seen, so very Vietnamese.  We texted them, finally got the address of the venue and hopped in another cab.  The driver insisted he knew where we were going and took off.  Hanoi has a strange system of one way streets, these are pretty much ignored by the bikes but cars have to adhere to the rules so the drive seemed to go on for ever.  We were joking that we would end up in Saigon and pick Amanda's husband up on the way.  After what seemed like ages we finally got to the street...but it was a one way...the other way! So we had to get out and walk, and walk, and walk!  We finally got near and saw a brightly lit cafe but no...not yet.  Then we spotted them, sitting on the umbiquitous little plastic stools on the side of a road.  It was such a relief to see them and we plonked ourselves down with a sense of relief.  We were quickly furnished with drinks, beer for me, soda for Amanda and Jonny the brave had some of the local vodka...made from rice as far as I can establish!  Then the food arrived.  Look carefully at the photo, you see that gleam of steel in behind the scooter...that's the kitchen!

 Excuse my spelling but from the left Thung, Trieu, Tuan, Thuy across from her is Viet, Jonny and Amanda.
 There were two hotplate setups on the tables, plates of salad and some really lovely pickles, nice crusty bread rolls and the meat.  The meat we were to cook...three types of meat...beef, some kind of tubes...I thought intestines and Amanda and Jonny thought Aorta!  The third type was unidetifyable, it looked a bit like liver - but wasn't, had some resemblance to lungs - but the Vietnamese consider the lungs dirty (after breathing in that polluted air I'm not surprised) so it wasn't lungs.  The best I could establish that it came from the general area of the gut...so I think it might have been the omentum.  Anyway...Amanda and Jonny said it tasted ok, I'm sorry to say I wimped out...actually I'm not sorry...I'm not eating anything I can't identify.  But the marinated beef was wicked, spicy and tender.  Trieu's lovely girlfriend Thung was our cook, she's a bright young woman who is actually coming to Sydney next year to study at Maquarie Uni thanks to her sponsor (some rich Dutch person).  Anyway she looked after us like a mother hen, putting bits of food on our plates and making sure that I only got the beef and nothing untoward.  I did try the tubey things and they tasted pretty much like I thought they would...meat flavoured chewing gum!  The food just seem to keep on coming.  The cook was the brother in law of a worker at the restaurant and regaled them with the tale that we ate 20 bread rolls!!!!  Well, there were 8 of us so it's not that much really since there was no rice or noodles.  Talk about a small world, what you eat tonight will be discussed in the workplace tomorrw! :-)

 All in all it was an interesting meal with a great bunch of people.  By the end of the night my poor stiff legs were starting to protest but I managed...poor old chook! 

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