Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Frogs and funny faces

Last night, after spending the day at the beach, Marina, Rhian, and I decided that we wanted to check out the restaurant next door to the hotel we're staying at. We'd looked at the menu the day before and were intrigued because some of the items available were, let's say, less than traditional.

I should've taken pictures of the actual menu just to prove that I'm not lying, but I didn't so you'll just have to take my word for it. You could choose from all kinds of seafood (lobsters, crabs, prawns, eels), civet cat, oxtail, java mouse deer, venison, plus your normal ol' beef, chicken, and pork. I wanted to try something a bit off the wall, that I hadn't had before and might not have an opportunity to have again any time soon. I was worried that Marina and Rhian would chicken out and order their fallback choice of fried rice with egg and veg. They surprised me, though, and we ended up with quite the selection.

So what did we end up with? Sauteed frogs with chili and lemongrass, grilled hedgehog, and our
"safe" dish was fried noodles with squid and prawns (we wanted to make sure we ordered something we knew we'd like, just in case the first two were horribly inedible). Verdict? The frogs were delicious - spicy and not at all greasy like they tend to be. I had to teach the girls how to eat them (I'd had frogs legs before, but never the whole frog) and they were too spicy for their liking, but they actually liked them, too. The hedgehog was also spicy. It has a gamey flavor, somewhat similar to lamb, and eating it was kind of like eating ribs off of very tiny bones. It was a bit tough, but I don't know if it's always like that or if it was due to preparation. The noodle dish was mostly great. The squid was probably the best squid I've ever had, but the dish lost points for using instant noodles - not a problem if I'm expecting them, a disappointment if I'm not.

Afterwards, we were in the mood to go out. Actually, we'd decided before dinner that we were gonna go out because it was our last night in Nha Trang. We all wore new dresses and were looking pretty (if I do say so myself!). And then the silliness kicked in. All of a sudden we needed to get photographic evidence of various funny faces that we could make. We even asked the guys sitting at the other end of the table to pull faces with us. For some reason, they didn't think we were completely bonkers and they actually joined in. It was a really fun night and our latest night out in a long time. I don't think we got back to the hotel until after 1am and then we did the girl thing and stayed up for awhile after that talking.

We were up bright and early this morning, though, sleep be damned. We checked out of the hotel and stored our packs. Marina and Rhian went to Vinpearl, an island in the South China Sea reached by cable car that has a water amusement park. I opted out. Partially because we're getting on an overnight bus later and a shower beforehand probably won't be an option, partially because it's nearly a day's budget entrance fee, partially I just wasn't feeling like it.

The bus leaves tonight at 8:30pm and arrives in Ho Chi Minh City at 6am. In HCMC, I'll be getting back to my couchsurfing roots as I have a host all lined up. I'm excited about it and think it will be a good way to wrap up my time in Vietnam.


  1. You ate frogs?!? That just seems so carnivorous! You can rest assured, that's not something I'd order. Not because I think it would be gross, but because it would be like eating my cousins.

    I still love you though...

  2. I don't think I could eat frogs either but oddly enough I might try the hedgehog.

  3. This is so cute. It's like they are performing some muscle contructions!