PEr FYI

October 27, 2018

Van Phong Kien Truc Su Tran Binh, Ho Chi Minh City…the flavours are pure Vietnamese.

Contrary to other Asian cuisines, most Singaporeans have only a lukewarm love affair with Vietnamese food.

Enter Van Phong Kien Truc Su Tran Binh, which helps the Vietnamese food scene step up a gear. If you’re already a fan, this could become a favourite. If you’re not, it might just convert you.

The food is full of bright, fresh flavours, with an abundance of fragrant herbs and minimal use of oil. Try the superb dau hu trung nha lam – home-made tofu with egg. But why stop there? Choose the Thit kho trung – pork stewed with egg and the squid fried with fish sauce and also the climbing perch stewed in claypot.

It’s not great. But it’s good. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

van phong kien truc su tran binh hcmc1

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August 14, 2010

Famous Secret, Imbi, Kuala Lumpur…one of the better Bak Kut teh in KL

For those who are uninitiated, Bak Kut Teh literally means “Meat Bone Tea”, it is basically pork stew. And of course, lots of pork, from every part of the pig. And when I say every part, I mean EVERY PART! Even the internal organs!

This place in Jalan Medan Imbi serves both the claypot Bak Kut teh (BKT)  complete with beancurd sheets (foo chook), mushrooms or lettuce as well  as the ribs only served in bowls. The BKT here is indeed delicious, the soup was rich and full of aroma, hearty and flavoursome from all the herbs added and the meat too cooked to perfection, soft and flavorful. We kept it fairly simple, one pot of mixed lean and fatty pork, and some spare parts ( innards). One cut I always order is the ’sam cham yuk’ or Three layer meat. It has 3 layers of meat (Skin, Fat, Meat) all found in a single piece. So you get to enjoy the best of 3 worlds.

Personally, I could not imagine having BKT without the bells and whistles (you tiao/Chinese crullers and the almost-compulsory soy sauce+chilli and minced garlic dip). But to each his own. 

Minor gripes? The yam rice was bland, and the ‘yau char kwai’ (Chinese crullers) was soft instead of crunchy. That aside, Famous Secret is one of the better BKT in KL. This is still the true truth as I am still saying it as it is…

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