Vietnamese food: lunch in the hood

11th February 2021

Quán Lúa: Address: 537/3 Đường Nguyễn Duy Trinh, Phường Bình Trưng Tây, Quận 2, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh

I visited this restaurant back in December just before Christmas and, along with my trusty sidekick, sampled some of the fish dishes:

Prawns with onions and peanuts; the best dish.

Canh Chua Cá (Sour Fish Soup). I’m not such a fan of this Viet dish. It was average, nothing special.

Baked fish with sticky rice.

Gettin’ ready to tuck in …

The service was very friendly and, as you see, they didn’t object to my sidekick in the outside area. Cost was reasonable while I would rank the food thus: the prawns were delicious, the baked fish satisfactory and the rice well-flavoured. The soup looks colourful, it’s just not my cup of tea. To be fair, as I went early some of my first choices were not available. I really went as a break from home-cooking, and to support a local restaurant. I’ll leave the last word to my trusty sidekick:

Adult Speaking Class, Level 2: Coffee, cooking and cuisine

1st February 2021

ALH 7.4 pp 68 – 69

Juan Ferrer on Twitter: "Iggy Pop and Tom Waits. Coffee and Cigarettes  (2003) Jim Jarmusch.… "
Miles Davis - Cookin' - LP | JazzMessengers
Plan, Shop, Save, & Cook | Pierce County | Washington State University

Welcome to the class – hey, what’s cooking ? (what’s happening ?)

Unfortunately, I’m not 100% today. I have a sore throat so have to reduce the amount of talking … which is good news for you !

Standard English:

I’m not feeling very well // I have a slight cold // I’m not at my best

Idioms:

I’m feeling under the weather // I’m not myself tonight

Vernacular:

I feel like hell // I just want to crawl back into bed

So, to warm up here are some dialogues you can practice. Look up any new words or phrases, then try to use them throughout tonight’s lesson.

Old Compass Cafe Saigon - Vietnamese cuisine, wine, cafe, events

Pat Well, I’m exhausted. I need a damn fine cup of coffee and a big piece of pie.

Sam There’s a Highlands over the road, or we can go to Coffee Bean or Milano.

Pat I’d prefer Tran Nguyen but it costs an arm and a leg. Highlands is also incredibly expensive.

Sam But great quality and superb cakes. Come on, I’m starving, I need coffee now !

Pat OK, hold your horses hahaha. After we can meet up with Thay Paul.

Sam Sounds good. Now … shall we have chocolate cake or fruit cake … ?

Inside the coffee shop

Quán cà phê “trong mơ” của những người Việt trẻ có gì? | Báo Dân trí
Highlands Coffee, a Vietnamese coffee chain

Sam Hi, I’ll have a large cappuccino, please. What do you fancy ?

Pat Tough decision. I’m going for the cheesecake and a slice of blueberry pie.

Sam Oh, me too. Big slice, no, only joking, I have to watch my weight.

Pat I think you look great. Lets also get some chocolate cake and we can share.

Sam Brilliant.

This is an extract from a previous blog, which may be accessed here: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/06/11/adult-speaking-class-level-2-coffee-shop-chat/:

Next week is Tet Holiday

As a guest in Vietnam, I am not sure of Vietnamese culture and customs. Work in teams and make a presentation to the class, explaining Tet holiday in terms of food, how it’s prepared, and who is invited to eat. Are there any strange or unusual traditions associated with Tet ?

Standard English:

Watch this video // Have a look at this short clip

UK London slang:

Have a butcher’s at this clip (butcher’s hook = look)

Vernacular:

Check out this vid

Adult Class Level 3: Murder mystery.

Wednesday 14th for Thursday 15th August 2019. AEF 10B pp. 98 – 99

Vocabulary: Crime and investigation

Grammar: Tag questions

Review: icons and symbols, relative clauses

Warm Up: Asian icons

Last week, the book focused on American icons, so let’s bring it closer to home. First activity, students in small groups have to suggest some Asian icons or iconic images. I want to know their ideas on actors, buildings, products or companies, cultural images or even street scenes.

For example:

Image result for LG logo
Image result for Vietnamese girl in ao dai

Next, relative clauses and sentence building. Here’s an example:

The Merlion, which is a symbol of Singapore, is a mythical creature that is half lion, half fish although no lions have ever lived in the city state.

The above sentence has three points of interest. Firstly, there is the relative clause used to add more information. Here the subject is the Merlion, a thing, so the relative pronoun is ‘which‘. Secondly, I use a discourse marker to connect ideas together in one sentence, namely ‘although‘, linking two opposites (a positive to a negative and vice versa). Lastly, I used the term ‘city state’ to prevent me from using the name ‘Singapore’ twice in the same sentence.

Try these … I’m looking for the correct relative pronoun and then the most detailed sentences or short passages.

Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

Image result for Viet food

Vietnamese Pho (noodle soup with beef or chicken)

Image result for Confucius

Chinese philosopher Master Kong (Confucius in English) 551 BC – 479 BC

Finally – write a sentence about YOUR hometown. If it’s not Sai Gon, explain where it is, how to get there, what it’s famous for (or if it’s not particularly famous for anything). As a link to tonight’s theme, here’s an icon from MY hometown:

Sherlock Holmes, who was a fictional detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, lived at 221B Baker Street which in is central London. Today it is a museum, admission £15 for adults, attracting tourists from all over the world.

Then it’s time to get to tonight’s topic – murder, unsolved crimes and mystery. The lesson focuses on the mysterious death of the actress Natalie Wood. To introduce her, I’ll show a short clip of her acting, then the actual news report on TV on her death:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JhRzlsZPas

Image result for natalie wood 1955

That clip, which has English captions, is from the film ‘Rebel Without A Cause’, from 1955. Now for the news footage:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eki23QMMmQ

Grammar: tag questions

Are you from Korea ? (a normal question, where we don’t know the answer)

You’re (you are) from Korea, aren’t you ? (using the tag ‘aren’t you’ to confirm what we think or know)

Take the pronoun (here it is ‘you’) and then the verb (‘are’). Reverse the verb, that is, make it negative then add the pronoun. Hence ‘are’ becomes ‘are not’ = aren’t.

Try these:

Bangkok is the capital of Thailand, ……….. ?

Natalie Wood was American, …………….. ?

We still don’t know who killed her, ………….. ? (here the verb is negative, so make it positive)

He’s a brilliant actor, ………….. ?

End activities: depending on time, students, in groups, can organise an itinerary for two of my friends who will be visiting Sai Gon soon. They want to see all the iconic sights and partake of typical Vietnamese activities. Having said that, their interests differ widely.

Image result for english married couple

Simon loves culture, history and museums as well as being into sports and physical activities. Therefore he wants to see and try as much as possible. He has heard about snake wine and is very curious.

Jenny finds museums unbearably boring. She is a shopaholic, can shop till she drops. Furthermore she can’t take the heat and is also vegetarian.

Clearly, they will need to compromise … what do you suggest ? Be creative – think outside the box.

Vietnamese snake wine …. NO, I haven’t tried it.