Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Moggysmekongmadness

All content on this blog remain the property of moggysmekongmadness. Where photos are not taken by the author, all efforts to credit photographer have been made. Kindly refrain from reproducing or scrapping.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Old Saigon

I recently stumbled across a web page with a heap of photos of the Old Saigon.  I can only imagine what it was like.  This batch has captured a real moment in time.
Looks to me like Nguyen Hue looking toward the Peoples Committee Building.

Ben Thanh Market

This could be any of the old street markets in the city.

That's quite a machine!

Looking toward what is now Tax Centre on Le Loi and Nguyen Hue.

Same again.

Tan Son Nhut Airport

Hai Ba Trung.  I will try to hunt down some more and put them up.  Thanks to for the photos.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Park Hyatt Saigon High Tea

In the name of research (that's my story and I am sticking with it), a group of us girls got together on Saturday to experience High Tea at the Park Hyatt.
As you can see, the choice of food was enough for even the most discerning diner!  The afternoon began at 2.00pm and we pretty much ate and drank tea for the next 3 hours.

The tea menu was extensive to say the least!  I am not really a tea or coffee drinker so a lot of the blends went right over my head.  I did manage to find a lovely herbal tea that helped me to wash down all of the food we were consuming.

One of the highlights of the afternoon was the great trio that kept us entertained with all of the classics.  Not too loud, not too intrusive and really added to the atmosphere of the lounge.

So, the food.  These fresh salmon sandwiches were a big hit with most of us going back for more on more than one occasion.

Looking back now I did not even taste this one.  Looks good too...what a shame!

I am very much a savoury kind of girl and these were my favourite.  Even when I switched from savoury to sweet I had to finish with one of these.

I couldn't fit one of these in either.  Perhaps I made an amateur mistake and had too many sandwiches to begin with.

Chocolate Baileys cake.


From memory these were apple pies.

How great do these look!  Little lemon meringue pies.

Did I mention I like macaroons?

Creme Brûlée....

So much fun to be ladies for the afternoon!  They will top up your tea with hot water as often as you wish.

The scones were a little on the flat side but still tasted great.

All in all a lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  It cost us approximately $35 each and I kid you not...I think I ate until I nearly burst.  I only managed to photograph half of what was on offer before my appetite got the better of me and I put the camera down and picked up a fork.  Quite expensive for Vietnam but you have to remember you are enjoying the idyllic surrounds of one of, if not the, best hotel in town.  We all agreed that the music was a lovely touch.  As we rolled into taxi's to take us home we have decided that we might have to make it our mission to experience High Tea in a few more places in town...all in the name of research of course!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Shopping Fun.

On Sunday mornings Nick takes Quiddy to soccer training and Scarlett and I hit the shops.  It's really only been in the last month or so that she has really felt comfortable doing it.  Such a splendid mother/daughter bonding moment when I ask what she wants to do and she replys go shopping.  The beginning of many years of bargain hunting together to come.  Sometimes we get our nails done, sometimes we will go to a market or just go out for breakfast.  I think one of the enduring images of our time here in my head will be from today.  Scarlett, who chose her own outfit this morning, skipping down the middle of one of the old style wet street markets, full of flopping fish and wonderful old Vietnamese stall owners, singing a tune, fairy wings in full flight....blissfully unaware of the chaos she left in her wake.  People reaching out for her or their phones to take a photo and calling out to their friends to look out for the little pixie.  I am still chuckling at the thought.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Bobby Chinn - Saigon

Another new player in the ever increasing food scene here in HCMC is Bobby Chinn.  I must admit I had not heard of him before his restaurant opened here but Google tells me he is a highly regarded Californian native who has his own cooking series on the Discovery Channel.  He lives and travels in Asia and his food has been described by the Asian Wall Street Journal as "the best Californian cuisine outside of California".  I had my reservations (pun intended) about going.  Firstly, we live in Vietnam and I really should be eating at Vietnamese restaurants and supporting the country in that respect.  I then had a think about it and came to the conclusion that if Vietnam is going to thrive it needs to get the tourist dollar in and if that means swanky restaurants that would not be out of place in New York or Paris then so be it.  It is not for everyone but if it caters to those who are spending their tourist dollar in Vietnam then surely it is a win/win.  My second hesitation was I had heard rumours about what "type" of person Bobby likes to have in the restaurant and "suggested dress code" and the like.  This rings big warning bells for me as pretentious restaurants make both Nick and I highly uncomfortable.  Thankfully, I can report that these are mainly attributed to Mr Chinns sense of humour (perhaps with an edge of truth).  So,  we decided to take the plunge, which is an apt way to describe it as we were celebrating doing the same thing (taking the plunge) 14 years ago.  Happy anniversary babe!
We actually started the evening with some rooftop cocktails at the Saigon Saigon bar at the Caravelle.  We had first gone to the new  Chill Bar near the New World Hotel but outside was closed due to rain (Don't get me started...thats another story)

After some drinks we made it to Kuhmo for our 8.00pm reservation.  I had made my reservation on line and mentioned that it was our wedding anniversary.  I then went into a bit of a panic realising I should have kept my mouth shut, shuddering at the thought of a group of waiters singing a corny anniversary song around the table.  Thank goodness it was not to be.  Instead we were greeted as we came in the door with a discreet "Happy Anniversary" and led to a beautiful romantic table pictured above.  They then drew the curtains around us and our romantic night was in full swing.  Come to think of it....maybe I was not dressed according to the dress code and they were trying to hide me?

OK, lets get this one out of the way straight away.  It's expensive.  Not just expensive by the old Vietnamese "I could eat for a week for $20" kind of way, expensive in the "I feel like I am back in Melbourne" kind of way.

It wouldn't be a celebration without bubbles.

These should give you an indication of some prices and what is on offer.

The food was great!

I know I SHOULD have gone for "I'm on a diet" but I could not resist.

And lucky I didn't as these were placed before us.  What a lovely touch.

So all in all we really enjoyed our night out.  For us it would only be a special occasion kind of place.  There was a different more open dining area toward the front of the restaurant and I am sure if you dined there you would probably have a different dining experience than the one we had.  For us, it was perfect for what we were looking for.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ten Dollars

And if I may quote Forrest Gump, that's all I've go to say about that.

Monday, February 20, 2012

I know you shouldn't have favourites...but....

Relax, I'm not talking about the kids mum.....I'm talking about the security guards at our building.  They are all really lovely but there is one young man who has a particularly bright smile and is not afraid to show it.  He has absolutely won the kids over by crafting beautiful origami pieces from paper or whatever he has at hand.  Most days the kids arrive home from school and he is waiting there for them with this huge grin and a little gift that he has made.  It's the little things.  In this is the beautiful little things....
This mornings little treat.  It looks to me to be made out of the inside of a cigarette packet.

Of course Scarlett is always delighted and gives him a big Xin Chao and her own megawatt smile.  You just never know what stuff kids will remember down the track.  We often just assume it is the huge things like holidays or expensive toys.  It would not surprise me if they never forget their friend with the huge smile and the amazing ability to make something out of nothing.  Not a bad lesson to remember indeed.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Auskick Saigon

Fantastic to see the great sport of AFL football being nurtured in the kids of Saigon!  The lament of many an expat parent is the lack of wide open spaces for the kids to just hit the grass and expend some of that pent up, apartment living energy.  Auskick Saigon has started up again and this time is located at the Australian RMIT campus in D7.  There was a fantastic turnout for yesterdays first session and the kids had a blast.   Not only are they getting a chance to run off that energy but they are learning the art of the great game that is AFL or Australian Rules Football.  It is very professionally run with the kids starting with warm ups, followed by drills then finishing with a short game.  The kids can then hang around to watch the "old" boys of the Vietnam Swans do their own training.  A great initiative that allows the kids to see the benefits of training and how one day they can be just like their dads!  (minus the beer at the end).  There is no prior knowledge of the sport previously required and it is open to anyone who is interested.