All posts tagged: culinary adventures

Eating a snake and drinking cat poo coffee

Friends of snakes, look away now. Killing and eating a snake was always going to be an interesting experience. I’d read about it online and I had a fair idea of what to expect. We talked to our hotel owner and receptionist about it and they called a taxi for us. Unfortunately the taxi driver hadn’t been briefed and “Le Mat” which was the snake village didn’t seem to ring any bells. It was only after I drew and showed him a picture of snake while we gestured eating motions that he got it. “Ahhhh La Maaaat!”. All good. He drove us to a restaurant and he communicated to us that he would wait outside while we ate. It’s quite normal in SE Asia countries for taxi drivers to wait outside for you. Something that is unheard of in New Zealand unless you’re using an ATM or something super quick. Taxis are very cheap in Vietnam and our return trip including the hour wait while we ate,  cost only 94,000VND / $6NZ / $4.50US. I’d read about …

Trying new foods properly

When I try a new food, especially if it’s strange or exotic or requires a special preparation, I always make a point to try it properly. As close to authentic and as unadorned as possible. That way, I know I’ve given it a good go and if I don’t like it, it’s because I don’t like it and not because I’ve given it a crap attempt. I really wanted to try steak tartare. Steak tartare is finely chopped or minced raw beef. Because it is raw beef, it needs to be in great condition and hardly any restaurant around these parts offer it. Sure, I could have chopped some beef at home, but without knowing what I was striving for and what it was supposed to look and taste like, if it failed miserably, would I really know if it was the dish or just my shoddy workmanship? Luckily, I was able to sample it in a form I considered “proper” – from the kitchen of one of the premier steak restauarants in Auckland. With white …