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A Few More Reasons to Love Tien Hiang

June 30, 2010

It’s been very warm here this last week, and while our apartment has been fairly tolerable, I’ve sometimes been hesitant to heat it up more by doing lots of cooking. This has meant that we’ve paid a couple more visits to Tien Hiang, and have never been disappointed.

One night, we arrived quite hungry. So, we first we split some vegetable pancakes.

Then Graham got some pho soup,

and I got some lemongrass “beef” kebabs.

We also split this coconut “cookie.”

The potato cakes were really good–they had a light and crunchy shredded potato base, with lots of different kinds of vegetables packed in, and were served with a tangy tomato sauce. Graham’s pho soup was also fantastic. We’ve seen pho soup in a lot of places and, I have to admit, I didn’t really know what it was. I now think it’s a Vietnamese soup, traditionally made with a dark, sweet broth, a few different kinds of meet, rice noddles, mint, and lime. The soup Graham was given was huge, the broth was wonderful, and the fresh mint was, well, perfect. My little “beef” kebabs were also great–they were combined with tofu and peppers in a mild brown sauce, and arrived sizzling on a cast-iron dish. The “coconut cookie” is really a glutinous rice ball stuffed with sweet rice and banana which is set in a thick sauce of sweetened coconut milk and then sprinkled with roasted peanuts. It’s very sweet, and the banana-coconut-peanut combination is amazing.

On another occasion (when we were less hungry), we split a giant mint-y springroll, and then split an order of “ginger fish.”

The seitan doesn’t really taste very fish-y, but it’s still delicious–it’s crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, and is then coated with a perfectly strong ginger brown sauce. Tien Hiang, I think, will remain a hot-day (and busy-day) staple.

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