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Motormouth From Ipoh

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Birthday Celebration @ Baguette & Chocolat Cafe in Sapa, Vietnam



The town square amidst Sapa town .... I'm seeing Stars ....


The updates may come slower than usual, as I'm still nursing a sore throat after so long. Since before Hanoi, to be exact. Probably the cold, dry air in Hanoi and Sapa, plus the extraordinarily dusty town of Lao Cai and Hanoi, resulted in worsening of my respiratory tract. Good to know that I'm not the only one feeling under the weather post-Hanoi trip. Hahahah .... ;)


The old church in Sapa town


After the trek, the nap, and the early dinner, we decided to explore Sapa town for a bit, as the weather's cool, but not freezing cold. A stroll around the town revealed such diversity in cultures, peppered with commercialization here and there, street food lining up the roadside beckoning you over with the enticing aroma, and a serene surrounding in general. It felt like Cameron Highlands at times.


Sights around the town .... as usual, I'm snapping while not giving in to temptations

Classic carving ya? It's embedded onto a monument in the middle of the town



Seriously, walking around town for miles net you NOT even a bead of sweat ....


Felt as though it's spring, though it was just past winter .....


Roasting suckling pig by the roadside .... Looks tempting, yet the hygiene factor put us off .... To imagine vehicles zooming by every few seconds, adding extra zest to the meat!



A tranquil scene at the lake in Sapa ..... we spent a good half hour or more camwhoring here!



Business must be booming. Wondering whether the economic turmoil affects the people here? Or maybe there's the 'stimulus package' in the forms of tourism from all over?


A cheery lady selling yummy stuff by the sidewalk


I'm being nice, and recapped as short as possible for this post. It's a 3 days holidays after all, and dun feel like burdening your souls with my endless ramblings. =P
A short note here : There are a lot of roadside makeshift stalls selling street food to warm the tummy, from a variety of grilled meat on sticks, to roasted suckling pig and DOG's MEAT !!! (It's called Thit Cho, if you're wondering, hence avoid like the plague!), as well as sweet potatoes on grill.



I swear it was smoky when consuming! Lovely snack to have amidst the cool weather .....

The grilled sweet potato was priced at 5000 Dong/RM1/USD0.30 if I'm not mistaken. It was smoking hot when served fresh from the grill, so be careful. Though the temperature quickly dropped due to the overall cooling weather.

You've gotta choose your preferred stall. As the whole sidewalk was lined by similar stalls, selling EXACTLY the same food. Talk about united.


Rolled beef with herbs/vege ... Pre-grilled


Baguette & Chocolat @ Sapa .... a quaint little cafe-cum-bakery in a French style bungalow setting.

For supper, (you can't skip supper, as dinner was served at about 5pm!) we proceeded to Baguette & Chocolat, a cafe-cum-bakery located at a corner of the street, within walking distance from our hotel.


A tantalizing variety of cakes/muffins/puddings are available for your viewing and choosing pleasure at the glass display counter ... POINT AWAY!
Baguette & Chocolat is not your average bakery, mind you. All the food and drinks are prepared by students trained by Hoa Sua school, a non-profit organization established in 1994 by retired Vietnamese teacher. After their training ends, the school helps the students to find jobs in different hotels and restaurants all over Vietnam.
The more the reason to binge without guilt.

Carrot Cake (20,000 Dong/RM4/USD1.20)

The carrot cake was nothing spectacular, but a slice at only RM4, it was reasonably divine. Hahahaha ..... It was not too sweet either, and rather fluffy.

Crepe Suzette Flambees (30,000 Dong/RM6/USD1.70)

The crepe suzette was far from flaming, and not served/flamed on site, or on a pan. Ahem .... tasted like normal pancake drizzled with orange sauce, without liquor. Redemption point? The homemade pancake batter was passable, soft and not bland.


Eclat Orange (24,000 Dong/RM4.80/USD1.40)
The chocolate eclair with coconut shavings on top, was filled with orange centre, a tad sweet, but was a perfect complement to the beverages we had. What did I guzzle?

Vietnamese Drip Coffee (22,000 Dong/RM4.40/USD1.30)
Ca Phe Viet Nam ... aka the incomparable Vietnamese Drip Coffee. Served in a stainless steel strainer atop a dainty porcelain cup, the coffee IS strong. Definitely not a cuppa to have before a good night's sleep if you're not a caffeine junkie. But after repeated doses of 'poisons' over the years, I'm sorta immune to the caffeine onslaught. Have it with or without milk. Equally potent, equally satisfying.

A toast to the B'day Gal, Min !!!!
Other desserts and beverages we had : Spring Apple (Apple Crumble) @ 16000 Dong/RM4/USD0.90), Creme Brulee a la Vanille (Vanilla-flavoured creme Brulee - EXCELLENT!) @ 26,000 Dong/RM5.20/USD1.50), Hot Chocolate @ 36,000 Dong/RM7.20/USD2, and Mocha Coffee @ 32,000 Dong/RM6.40/USD1.80.
An excellent place to hangout, as you can choose to sit on the outside, soaking in the sun (opens day and night) and having the cool breeze stroking against your cheeks. Or a hot cuppa coffee/chocolate at night, beside the fireplace (yup, there IS one) while reading your favourite book. The icing on the cake? You're doing charity to the organization, and your tummy. =)
Location : Baguette & Chocolat Sapa @ Thac Bac Street, Sapa, Vietnam.
Next Post? MORE trekking, to not one, not two, but THREE villages (!) spanning 12 km (!!!) and the homecooked meal at the village ... plus the journey back to Hanoi)

26 comments:

CRIZ LAI said...

Hmmm.. The price for the desserts were not much different compared to some of those served over here. Well, I don't mind patronizing that place for charity. :)

http://crizfood.com/

ck lam said...

From what I see, it is definitely a good cuppa of coffee...it does remind me of the Vietnamese drip coffee I last had at Coffee Island but yours is much stronger :)

Min said...

Hey, thanks again for the celebration :) It's indeed a memorable one for me to spent the big day at two different countries. Anyway, till now, I can still remember how strong the Vietnamese coffee was, it's too potent for me I think, although I'm a coffee addictor...hehe.

KCA said...

yeah... Happy Birthday to Min(again, again and again)!!!! haha...

the lake scene is superb~~ we reli spent quite a long time there.. :)

Baguette & Chocolat is indeed a cozy and nice place for dessert lovers.. but i think tat night the whole cafe was polluted by our laughters.. haha.. reli paiseh.. haiz.. miss the game la.. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7... nxt time we play again in Bali la, ok?? hehe...

yeah.. Motormouth is the champion of caffeine addiction!! terrible, man.. so strong still can sleep like a PIG~~ hmmm... cant help any more.. =P Min, u reli cant beat him.. hehe..

ling239 said...

should try the suckling pig by the roadside leh... maybe the 'extra' elements make it tastes better! :p

ahlock said...

The carrot cake looks yummy enough...

But, the roast suckling pig looked so so pitiful.

cariso said...

Seriously the desserts look yummy to me, from the photos. Every piece of them!

thenomadGourmand said...

so no master bakers there in Hanoi churning out really good bakes?

J2Kfm said...

Criz Lai : yup, for charity and something to warm the stomach on a cold night. :)

ck lam : it came to about half a cup, but the potency ... hahaha .. even with milk, also we jolted up and paid attention!

Min : yeahlah ... who can boast of bday celebrated many times and in 2 countries leh?!

KCA : pig ur head lah .. hahaha... the caffeine ain't strong enough to keep me awake longer than desired. maybe i should try chewing on the beans. hahahah ...

ling239 : it looks crackling-ly crispy, but the ashes and the dust from the traffic ... ahem. i'll pass. plus the shop also sells roasted DOGS lah ... imagine the skewer been recycled. yucks.

ahlock : yeahlah.. the morale of the story is; Never peek into the Kitchen preparing ur Food. :)

cariso : the place and the comfort came 1st, in our opinions. the desserts and coffee were mere fillers. and we were LOUD!

thenomadGourmand : i'm sure there is, but leave that for another day ... or another trip. :)

backStreetGluttons said...

While we were in Saigon some years back , we found the place rough & raw. Food is not extraordinary but the roadside noodle stalls ( eat on low planky) chairs quite tasty as the thousand of girls zoomed by in their vespas and scooters ! and inviting us to follow them ( how nice ) .But we found their beer 333 cheap and good and so we had no sore throat at all ! You shud try that next time

SimpleGirl said...

haven't tried Vietnamese coffee b4...so, how was it? compare to Ipoh coffee?which is better?!

Allie said...

The view of the roasting suckling pig is definitly eye catching. But what? They sell roasted Dog? You got to be kidding me...

Food For Tots said...

Luv the Vietnamese drip coffee. The scenery in Vietnam is so beautiful and breathtaking! Excellent shots!

iamthewitch said...

Wow, I have heard of the legendary Vietnamese drip coffee. Did you manage to sleep well that night? :P I am not a coffee person and the slightest bit of caffeine will make me stay awake for hours! I'd rather stay away from coffee than to suffer from insomnia. :P

mimid3vils said...

The roast pig similar to babi guling at Bali?

J2Kfm said...

backstreetgluttons : hahahah sore throat countered by the cooling effect of beer? wooookay! :)

Simple Girl :its diff. Ipoh white coffee more milky and creamy. Viet version stronger, with smoky flavour, and a lingering taste. both also nice, as i'm a junkie.

Allie : yes, Allie. they eat dog's meat over in Viet. so dont simply point n order!

FOod for Tots : thanks for the compliment.

iamthewitch :i slept like a log an hour or two after. i'm probably immune to the effect of caffeine, or i was too tired for the effect to kick in.

mimid3vils : i've never tried babi guling, nor visited Bali before, but should be the same. i din try this in Vietnam though, so no idea on how they serve them.

550ml jar of faith said...

Ahhh one cup of Vietnamnese potent liquid would be PERFECT now... post-lunch slump, loooong afternoon ahead... all that's available is Nescafe, ewwww

worldwindows said...

Common man's food aka roast sweet potato vs elite francophile pastry. What a contrast. And both rated highly.

J2Kfm said...

550ml jar of faith : nescafe would have to make do. :) in the absence of something more potent ....

worldwindows : i love my sweet potatoes,thank you! even given the myth that they give you ... erm, 'wind'. hahaha ...

kampungboycitygal said...

looks like a nice holiday destination ! or is it bcoz of ur deceiving gorgeous pictures?

mboy said...

Haha, I agree with the statement.."looks like a nice holiday or isit just b'cz of the deceiving pictures?"...Well, i guess that statement will be an anomaly that will be difficult to be answered lor..

J2Kfm said...

kampungboycitygal & mboy : it's far from deceiving though. anywhere's better than trapped within four walls, esp the perimeters of one's office. :)

Nic (KHKL) said...

wow! babi guling!!! i bet u were really tempted to check it out, right? haha! and dog meat? hmmmm, wonder it would taste like....

J2Kfm said...

Nic : wei cannot lah like that .... you got rear dogs? sinful if eat their meat. LOL

foodees said...

Pity the pig. Turning a round in circles even after death.

J2Kfm said...

that's their purpose in life? :)
kinda sad right?