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25 October 2011 / leggypeggy

Try white rose—it’s delicious

A plate of white roses. Yum!

I couldn’t resist ordering white rose for dinner in Hoi An, in central Vietnam. In fact, there were so many things, that I couldn’t  resist ordering us a mini degustation.

For those who aren’t familiar with the term, it describes a tasting experience. At its finest, a degustation will involve sampling small portions of a chef’s signature dishes in one sitting. Usually there are eight or more courses, and such a meal is often accompanied by a wine degustation. Poor John and I did a full-blown degustation on our 25th wedding anniversary. That one cost an absolute bomb and we enjoyed every mouthful. As a bonus, we had the pleasure of eating in the restaurant’s kitchen so we could watch each dish being made and have the process explained. We even scored a few tastes of extra items.

Our recent pig-out—in a riverside cafe—was not nearly so flash, but we had six dishes and thoroughly enjoyed them all. But the real standouts were the white rose dumplings and cao lao soup—both traditional Hoi An recipes.

A bowl of cao lao. Yum, yum!

The dumplings are filled with minced prawns or pork, and shaped to look like white roses. Cao lao is made of noodles, pork, greens, bean sprouts, broth and deep-fried croutons/crackers (see Sesame rice crackers in the Vietnam category). I’ve read that the best cao lao is made with noodles that have been soaked in a mixture of lye and water from the Ba Le well. I don’t know if we had the authentic version, but whatever we had was fabulous. I ordered it again the next day. 🙂

We also had a duck salad, prawns on sugar cane skewers, calamari patties and a fruit platter. Sorry, but I didn’t get good pictures of all the dishes.


Leave a Comment
  1. clarehudson / Oct 25 2011 2:36 am

    Definitely going to try that- will be in Hoi An soon.


  2. Louise M Oliver / Oct 25 2011 8:59 am

    Hi Peggy,
    That sounds like a delightful meal and such a nice name. Fancy being able to say you ate white roses for dinner. That alone would create a lovely memory! Where did you and John celebrate your 25th wedding anniversary? Was it here in Canberra? It sounds pretty good. I didn’t know it was possible to get into a kitchen and watch your food being prepared. But there you go. There are many, many things I don’t know and, alack and alas, I don’t have the time right now to even start the list! Take care and be good.

    Love and best wishes



  1. Hoi An—something for everyone, even eyelash bending « Where to next?

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