Reviews

Top exotic fruits in Vietnam (part 1)

Was born and raised in Vietnam, I’ve been very fond of my country’s tropical fruits. We have a wide variety of fruit all year-round with low price and best in quality. When my foreign friends came visit, I showed them some kinds of fruit that can barely found elsewhere, they wowed at the very first sight and then deeply fell in love after tasting it, which made me so happy.

Ambarella (Cóc), as my friend describes, is like a green stone. Yup, that means it is round, hard, and green in color. Street vendors often whittle and make them look like blooming flowers, but I usually just peel and cut it into small pieces cause I find it time-consuming. The crunchy texture and its sour-sweet flavor are really nice. Some visitors referred it to pickles when they ate it.

Rambutan (Chôm chôm) played an important part in my childhood because I often received them as a gift from my grandma when I got good grade. Its red cover with a lot of small, thin spikes remind me of little cutie porcupines, but thoses rambutan’s soft spikes don’t hurt. It is so juicy and slightly sour. If you ask me how it tastes, I might say it tastes like lychee or longan. And if you don’t know how lychee and logan taste, well, you should book a ticket to Asia right now!

If you are already farmiliar with kiwi, you might think that Sapodilla (Sa pô chê) has the same shape and texture with Kiwi. Sapodilla is brown in color, though, and it has hard, long, flat, black seeds. It has a sweet, malty flavor. It is soft and grainy at the same time. Personally, I would put Sapodilla into the fridge and keep it cold before eating so that it is fresher and not so sweet.

Mangosteen (Măng cụt) is definetely one of my favorite, and its gorgeous unique glossy reddish-purple color is what gets me. The skin is hard, but the flesh inside is just incredibly opposite. It is sweet, juicy, somewhat stringy, and creamy. It melts in my mouth, and I am always desperate to have more. Mangosteen is expensive, hope I won’t be broke if I eat it everyday ^^.

Talking about Jackfruit (Mít), I will never forget my friend’s reaction when she encountered a whole jackfruit for the first time. She twisted her face and couldn’t resist the feeling of wanting to touch that yellowish prickly cover. She was so curious about how jackfruit looks like behind that skin, so we decided to buy a whole fruit, and she could cut it herself.  Months later when I asked her about jackfruit again, “glossy, yellow, sweet, kinda crunchy” were all she could remember. “It’s sure right,” I laughed along, but we both know jackfruit is a lot more than that.

What to expect at a Vietnamese wedding

I dedicate this video to every foreigner out there that got invited to a Vietnamese wedding and feel totally clueless about what you’re expected to do.

Most of the time, you’re only invited to the huge reception where your only job is to come eat and congratulate. Of course, you’re expected to bring lucky money for the newlywed which also covers your share of food. How much money depends on how close you are to the couple. That’s how Vietnamese weddings (in big cities like Danang) can host 500+ guests.

If you’re really close to the couple and their families, you may be invited to the traditional ceremony which in my opinion is much more sentimental and a true reflector of the Vietnamese culture. Either way, watch the video and read the following text closely so you won’t feel like a fish out of water 


Since Nguyen Dynasty, women often wear traditional clothes “Ao Dai” in their weddings. Men wear a simpler male version of the dress. Usually, bride’s clothes is in red or pink, while groom’s clothes is in blue. Nowadays, most grooms often wear suits for their comfort.

Receiving a bride at her house: In the morning, the groom’s family and close friends will bring gifts to the bride’s house. The gifts present the wealth that the groom’s house will bring to the bride’s house. There, the groom presents his gifts, and two families are introduced to one another. When the bride is brought out, the young couple will burn incense sticks in front of the alter, asking for permission and blessings. Then, they will turn and bow to their parents, saying thank for rasing them up. Finally, they turn and bow to each other.

Bringing the bride to the groom house: The newlywed with their families will go back to the groom’s house. Similarly, the ceremory takes place in front of the groom’s ancestor altar.

Wedding reception: After the ceremony at the groom’s house, families and friends are invited to a wedding reception. It can take place at any desired location. It’s not unusally if the number of guests reach 1000 or more. Wedding gift is often in form of money put inside an envelope. Inside the main hall, round tables are set up, guests will gradually fill up the table. When the ceremony starts, the couple walk from the isle onto the stage. With the parents, two families announce the wedding, drink a toast, and thank guests for joining them on that special day. After that, the couple go from table to table to thank their guests for coming to the reception. If there are 1000 guests, well, they have 100 tables to go. The bride also can change into three or more different dresses, depending on her preference. During the reception, lots of people sign up to sing and dance.

The reception menu is carefully chosen by the couple beforehand. There is usually a tasting session provided for the couple and their families by the restaurant a few days before the actual reception. The menu often consists of 5-6 dishes, often starting with cold platter such as salad, then followed by hot dishes such as soup or curry, and ended with dessert like sweet or fruit platter.

Meeting Luke Nguyen

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I was truly honored to meet and interview Chef Luke Nguyen at the “Taste of Autralia” event in Danang.

With the presence of the Australian Ambassador in Vietnam and Chef Luke Nguyen, special menus featuring Australian dishes, a compelling culinary competition among exclusive chefs, the event has attract a great deal of people across the country. Let’s figure out what this well-known Vietnam-wide cebebration has to offer.

More info about “Taste of Australia” http://vietnam.embassy.gov.au/hnoi/MR160302.html

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In these videos:

  • Summer tried a range of Australian food in Danang
  • A mystery box challenge between Chef Luke Nguyen + the Australian Ambassador versus the Consul-General in Vietnam + chef Matty Donnelan
  • An exclusive interview with Luke Nguyen by myself, in which he shared his thoughts about central Vietnamese cuisine