A Traditional Meal Tour experience

hoang.nhung_mar_18 - October 17, 2019

Being able to make the local food by yourself with the help of the host and having a heart-to-heart talk with the family, you will never cease to be amazed by what you’ll know about the Vietnamese’s cuisine, lifestyle, and our notion in many aspects.

When mentioning the City Tour, there is no struggle for you to imagine famous places in the city center that you are going to visit. Booking the China Town Tour, it means that you are all ready to dive into the Chinese’s culture as well as history. Night Street Food tour then fills your stomach with tasty, wonderful street food. So what about The Traditional Meal Tour? What do you think about it? Going to a restaurant then try the Vietnamese Traditional Meal? Isn’t it the same with the Street Food tour?

Have a sit and I’ll let you know what is the real Traditional Meal Tour!

Traditional Meal Tour (TMT) is a special tour that you can have a chance to enjoy the meal with the Vietnamese family. Being able to make the local food by yourself with the help of the host and having a heart-to-heart talk with the family, you will never cease to be amazed by what you’ll know about the Vietnamese’s cuisine, lifestyle, and our notion in many aspects.

The family’s hospitality and their sincerity definitely make you feel taken care and welcomed like a friend who back home from miles and haven’t been met each other for a long time.

Moreover, the family would love to see you try the home-made food they make, carefully observe to your reactions first time trying new dishes, and then out loud begin to laugh because of your satisfied nods several times.

All the tours I conducted were at Thao’s house – a host, a member of Saigon Hotpot for over 2 years, the one who have been dinning for more than 100 tourists coming to experience Vietnamese’s cuisine.

In this post, I record my own experience at Thao’s house.

Just want to let you know that there are still some other hosts like Khanh Linh or Leena. Forgive my newbie-ish, I only have a chance to conduct tours at Thao’s.

 

The host house located in Nha Be District. To reach her house, you have to drive over Long Kieng Bridge – a 110 meters of steel structure bridge, which has many decades – old, very narrow and lots of vehicles travelling during the day.

My first time of crossing the street, I had already worried because of the clanking sound and strong vibration of the steel panels collided. The special thing was, just only me was the one who scared! Neither the tourists nor the driver were afraid of!

 

When you finally reach the house, you’ll be welcomed by Thao’s parents. Visit the kitchen area, making the spring rolls and frying it by yourself or you can try how to make a sizzling pancakes, just depends on the menu.

The table was filling with decent foods. Beautiful like a dream! I had 3 bowls of chicken congee and couldn’t remember how many spring rolls were in my stomach at that time!

I have to admit that the cooking skills of Thao’s mom are unbelievable. I had a hard breath because I was too full!

This is Sharon. She is an Australian. She shared that she had tried chicken congee in China, she thought that it was the best congee of her life until she tried the one at Thao’s house. I still remember every single word she said “I know this congee is so good because it was made with love!”

Thao’s mom was extremely nice. Although Sharon was full, she insisted Sharon try more tropical fruits and prawn crackers. Couldn’t turn down her good will, Sharon had to pack some food back to her hotel. She also gave Sharon a lucky bracelet that she had from the pagoda!

This is a meal tour with a nice and lovely Taiwan family. I still remember that day was a little bit hard for us to book a Grab car going back to the hotel so Thao’s dad and Tuong Vy, the cook, drove the whole family by their motorbike to a supermarket to catch a taxi. The kids couldn’t hide their excitement because that was their second time sitting on a motorbike!

The dish on the picture is called “Bò né” – “Bò” means “beef” and “Né” means “Dodge”. The name of the dish is shown clearly on the picture haha. Everybody all stood up to avoid the hot oil splash. Look at the children having great concentration on the dish! How lovely they are!

And this is not only my latest tour but also the most memorable tour to me. Everything was prepared in a very short time (1.5 hours) because of my fault. Lucas booked a meal tour on the 9th, then I scheduled with Thao to prepare a meal on that day. However, the confirmation mail was on the 8th day. I didn’t notice it! Then I just followed the day on the mail, the 8th!

30 minutes before I met Lucas, I had informed Thao I was about to pick him up. When she texted me back “Oh, not tomorrow?” I was really shock at that time, trembling not knowing what to do. Neither I wanted to cancel the tour nor asked Thao to prepare the meal such a short time like that.

Thao seemed to read my mind. She told me to delay the picking up time 1 hour late in order to have time to prepare the meal. When we arrived, I saw Thao and her Mom was rushly cooking, sweating a lot but the table was filled of food. At that time, I felt guilty and grateful for having met such an awesome family!

One special thing at Thao’s family is the memory book, which is given to the foreign friends at the end of the meal to keep their emotion through the words! I think this is a very great way to keep memories apart from photos, right?

From the loving thoughts of Sharon…

To the hand-writing letter coming from Tiffanie family with the draw of the two cute sisters…

And the confidant written neatly from Lucas.

 

All over 100 messages coming from all over the world are kept in this simple, yellow notebook. Although it is simple, it’s full of love and great meaning to the host family, isn’t it?

Written by: Anh Kha – Lead of Traditional Meal Tour

Designed by: Hoàng Nhung

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Notes: 8am - 12pm (half morning), 1.30 PM- 4.30PM (half afternoon) & 9 AM - 3PM (full day)

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