Saturday, September 11, 2010

Pacharan @ Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

HCMC Part V: Spanish cuisine might not be the first food that springs to mind when contemplating Ho Chi Minh City, but this multiple-story restaurant has carved a prominent place for itself in one of the city's main squares.

We headed here for light nibbles before the dinner crowd came. The rooftop lounge is particularly attractive, overlooking motorcycle-clogged traffic below (all the road users in this city seem to honk continuously for no apparent reason _ what's up with that?).

Octopus brushed with olive oil & paprika with potatoes. A simple recipe, but all the ingredients worked so well together. Soul food, in its own way.

Fabada, a bean stew with chorizo & pancetta. Slightly more watery than expected, but seemed authentic enough to have emerged from a grandmother's kitchen on the mountains of Asturias (what do we know though; we've never been to Spain _ yet).

Less traditional but equally satisfying were the cocktails: Gift of Melon (cachaca, sesame seeds, fresh watermelon, cinnamon) & Valencia Cocktail (apricot brandy, orange bitter, orange juice).

Sangria & Mojito. The classics, executed well. Viva el Espanol!

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.


  1. Fabada? Funny..hw we have Spanish restaurants in KL but we don't have this on the menu rite?

  2. Tng: ya, I think I've seen something like it before in KL, but not exactly like this ... It's basically a pork-and-bean stew, but it's supposedly only popular in one region of Spain, unlike paella, etc, which are more common in that country...

  3. Ah, they serve regional stuff! That sounds authentic to me.

  4. the octopus dish seems to be quite an interesting dish. However, I think the bean stew with chorizos would have been better if it comes with chick peas instead.

  5. That Octopus brushed with olive oil & paprika with potatoes dish sounds like a good refreshing tapas to have.

  6. The perpetual honking is a mystery to me too. What do they do when they actually NEED urgent attention from other motorists?

  7. Michelle: yep, it helps that the owners are spanish themselves! :D
    Eiling: hmmm, maybe chickpeas are more of a middle eastern and mediterranean ingredient? Argh, my geography is awful!
    Qwazymonkey: yeah, it's nicer than the Japanese recipes for octopus. And it helps that it wasn't rubbery/chewy :D
    Min: maybe they employ a longer, more furious honk? But don't they ever crave some peace and silence on the roads, I wonder... I shudder to imagine how noisy KL would be if all of us were honking all the time...

  8. I love the candy-coloured stripey cuchioney stools! So refreshing!

  9. Pureglutton: yeah, adds a lot of character to the place! and they look comfortable too!