Pacharan @ Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

September 11, 2010

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.