HO CHI MINH CITY

We woke up to this view of the river every morning from our hotel, Renaissance Riverside. It’s a nice hotel but the city is much nicer. Why not start the day off with a nice bowl of pho from this babe:

There are a tonne of great restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City but the best food is just a couple of bucks from the street vendors all over town. This pho was pretty serious business, with a smattering of beef tendon, lotus root and crunchy pork crackling. It cost us 10,000VND, which works out at just over fifty cents.

With breakfast out of the way we started our ascent to the north of District 1, where we would find our second breakfast for the day…

I eat a lot of Vietnamese food in Sydney and after seeing an episode of No Reservations, where Anthony Bourdain and his old boss chomp their way through Ho Chi Minh City and Hoi An, I knew I had to come here. Sometimes I feel like No Reservations can be a little wanky (I hate it when Bourdain focuses on the spiritual side of a city he’s visiting and forces the viewers to ten straight minutes of him sitting in a temple NOT EATING ANYTHING, complete with awful free copyright production music playing in the background – panpipes and harps!) but this episode was free from wank and instead full of incredible food that I absolutely had to eat. And now that we were in the same country as this food, we had no excuse but to find all the dope spots Bourdain and his old French mate ate at.

Our first dish: Banh Xeo, at 46A Dinh Cong Trang

Banh Xeo is a Vietnamese pancake filled with prawns, pork and beansprouts, fried on one side and folded in half. It’s served with a plate full of different herbs and a dipping sauce.

You tear off a bit of the pancake, wrap in herbs and dip it in the sauce, just like B is doing below:

The place also dished some boss spring rolls that were crispy on the outside and dense with pork and spice on the inside. Real good.

We’d not even wiped the oil from our lips and it was time for our next breakfast, our third for the day. Maybe we should call this one lunch, even though it was still in the AM when we ate it. 

After scaling one end of Hoang Sa to the other, walking along the brown river and stopping for morning beers (the best kind of beers!) along the way, we finally found who we were looking for: The Lunch Lady.

The Lunch Lady is a street vendor who simmers a wild new pot of soup every day, spooning it into the bowls of lucky bowl holders who rock up from 11am till when she runs out of her holy elixer. Gastronomy Blog has done a very thorough post that lists what kind of soup she cooks each day, as well as the best map of how to find her.

We were psyched to be here on a Friday because Fridays are when The Lunch Lady makes Bun Bo Hue, the beefiest soup there is! And holy moly would you look at this motherfucker:

I SAID LOOK AT THIS MOTHERFUCKER!!

Words can’t do this bowl of soup justice. It had it all. Slices of beef, pork sausage, pig’s blood, thick noodles, herbs and oh man, that spicy, beefy broth. 

B was so in love with her soup she demanded I take her picture with it:

But I decided to one-up her and had my picture taken with The Lunch Lady herself:

What a babe! Oh and The Lunch Lady is in this photo too.

Friends and family of The Lunch Lady run the stalls that surround her soup stand, selling rice paper rolls, drinks and chế, a sweet dessert that comes in a Pikachu bag!

On the long, hot walk back to our hotel we were deep in thought. Would our life be the same after eating The Lunch Lady’s delicious soup? Is ‘Lady’ The Lunch Lady’s maiden name, or did she take it on after marriage? Would various Pokemon adorn the rest of our beverages in Vietnam? And most importantly, what would we have for dinner?


Cha Ca La Vong is a restaurant that serves just one dish: Hanoi style fried catfish with tumeric and dill. Even though we were headed to Hanoi in just over a week, we’d heard that this Ho Chi Minh City restaurant does the dish better than anywhere else in Vietnam. And it was pretty damn good!


After our fourth and (unfortunately) final meal of the day, we lay in bed with our hands clutching our engorged tummies, content with the food we’d eaten and making an oath to each other not to blog about any other activity we partake in while we stay in this beautiful city.

SAIGON NIGHTS

We landed in Ho Chi Minh City pretty late and even though Singapore Airlines had ensured our bellies were full of slightly above average plane food, we needed to go out and hunt. Eating mad shit was the reason for our Vietnam trip, after all.

After a few blocks of walking we came across this bro perched on a plastic stool surrounded by exactly what we were hunting for: MAD SHIT. He was circled by an array of cured meats, herbs and vegetables; the makings of an amazing banh mi. And hoo boy was it amazing.

The baguette alone was perfection. They use rice flour when making bread in Vietnam, and after breaking through the awesome crack of the crust, it gave way to a soft, airy middle. 

It was a good way to end our night / start our holiday. 

SUNFLOWERS IN SINGAPORE

B and I are holidayin’ in Vietnam. We’ve been here for a week and I got mad photos to post up! Mostly food too so get ready to drool.

This is us at our stopover in Singapore. They got a real nice airport!

PORK FLOSS PANCAKE

Earlier in the year I had my friend Mel round for tacos. Ever the good guest (probably the best really), Mel came bearing gifts; a chef’s blowtorch, a bag of biltong and a can of pork floss. I’ve used the blowtorch a couple of times and we smashed the biltong in less than a week but I only got around to opening the pork floss yesterday.

Trying to fight my Sunday hangover, I found this dope pork floss pancake recipe on Chowtimes and was lucky enough to have all the ingredients in the kitchen. It tasted real good with fish sauce & lime. Pork floss is totally bad ass too, what else should I cook with it?

Come Party With Ua

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RUmJxbLTA8

Come party with us tomorrow night! Buy your tickets HERE.

PHOTOBOMBS 6: WEARING A SUIT BOMBING DUDES YOU MIGHT KNOW

Parklife was a tonne of fun. Thanks to Patrick Stevenson for taking these bad boys.

WAMP WAMP IS BACK THIS FRIDAY

Wamp Wamp is a party that me & Kato started during the summer of 2006. It was a good time! We’re bringing it back this Friday with our good friends Wedding Ring Fingers & Generic Collective plus some special ass guests: Deadboy from the UK and Myd from France! It’s gonna be off the hook!

I’ll also be running Cantina Levins throughout the night, cooking up some buffalo wings and ranch for you to eat on the dancefloor. And where is that dancefloor, you ask? Well only in the middle of the newly refurbished, beautiful Goodgod Small Club!

You can buy your tickets HERE. Please do so, because this party is going to be one of those reeeeeeally good ones. If you wanna hear some music from the headliners, read this boss post from the homies at Generic Blog. Or this equally boss post from our boy Fruit Beats.

Yo sorry I haven’t posted in a while, I’ve been too busy chilling listening to REAL SHIT like this song.

http://yolevins.com/yo-sorry-i-havent-posted-in-a-while-ive-been/

http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F5032750%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-JsZzc&secret_url=false

heapsdecent:

FREE DOWNLOAD: PABLO CALAMARI’S REMIX OF ‘WE’RE GOING TO LOMANDRA”

Here it is, the last of our free remix downloads for the week. We had Toni Toni Lee’s remix of ‘Miimali Gang Stars’ on Wednesday, yesterday The Aston Shuffle gave us their remix of ‘Late Night’ and today we’re ending on a bouncy note…

Pablo Calamari is our good friend. You might know him better as one half of the club duo Act Yo Age, or maybe by his old alias Elroy. The dude is a club veteran and he has brought all of his wisdom to his remix of The Lomandra Crew’s “We’re Going To Lomandra”. This percussion heavy, tropical BEAST is perfect for getting that crowd moving. Hopefully they’ll join in with the lyrics too (“Ay! Ay! What’s your name?”)!

Download the track for free from the Soundcloud link above and learn it back to front before you head to the HEAPS DECENT SPRING PARTY tonight and hear Pablo Calamari drop it in his set! Don’t have a ticket yet? Buy one (or ten!) HERE.

Here’s the poster for our party tonight if you need refreshing. It’s going to be a wild night! Hope to see you all there.

http://yolevins.com/heapsdecent-free-download-pablo-calamaris/

PHOTOBOMBS 5: SPLENDID

And this will bring us up to date. I got my friends Neha Potalia and Joel Draper to follow me around on Sunday night at Splendour In The Grass this weekend. They told the punters in the photos they were shooting for Pedestrian and The Brag. There’s no festivals for a little while now so I hope these quench you sufficiently. See you at Parklife!