Breakfast in Sapa

On a rainy, misty morning in Sapa in north-west Vietnam we sat down for an equally

A Vietnamese coffee cup. I bought four of these with great enthusiasm and of course have never used them since returning to London.

watery all Vietnamese breakfast. We ordered delicious, steaming bowls of Pho Ga (Pron. Fur). Think of it as southeast Asian chicken noodle soup with personality and a real zing.

With the Vietnamese coffee however it was hard getting the proportions right. The steel cup on top acts as the percolator and the coffee pours conveniently into the porcelain cup at the bottom. Once that process is over the Vietnamese add a spot of the much thicker and sweetened condensed milk instead of cream or ordinary milk. And that’s where my proportions got skewed. I either left my coffee too intense and unsweetened or ended up making it sweeter and sweeter with larger and larger quantities of condensed milk and eventually gave up and ordered ordinary coffee.

Anyway, after breakfast we headed out for a 6 hour hike down to the Sapa valley with lunch scheduled along the way at one of the villages. Lunch involved more steaming Pho Ga which unfortunately was not as good as the one at breakfast but we didn’t pay too much attention since we were hungry.

The restaurant kitchen with an Uncle Ho calendar on the wall.

On the way out of the village ‘restaurant’ however, we had to go past the kitchen where a dog sniffed around excitedly through a mess so unholy that it immediately set the Pho churning in our tummies.

The only one smiling was Uncle Ho.

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6 Responses to Breakfast in Sapa

  1. anuradha says:

    If the percolator’s as small as it looks, bring it to LV and we can make coffee for our hosts there. FD would’ve returned from Vietnam himself (he’s going there for a culinary conf of sorts) and he would be mighty pleased with the reminder :)

  2. Shilpi says:

    In Singapore mma, I had gotten very fond of ginger tea (teh alia) and coffee (kopi) prepared with condensed milk..though cm makes them really sweet and not so healthy :) Love the little Vietnamese coffee cup

  3. Helen says:

    Cool blog :) I was googling how to make chicken pho and somehow it linked to one your entries on breakfast in sapa. My partner and I also travelled SE Asia for 2 months starting in Dec 2010, and it was interesting to read your entries on sweetmate & dragon fruit. You have an eye for detail!

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