NB: The start of this post is a copy of a few responses to another post about "Delicatessen Shops in Saigon".
My remark was simply: "Vietnamese only care for rice, noodle and pho".
Some replies were:
THIGV said: What an absurd statement. You need to find a Vietnamese wife. If you already have a wife then hire a good cook. Vietnamese food can be very varied. Perhaps this is why Anthony Bourdain has come to Vietnam not once but twice and raves in particular about the variety of the cuisine
Stumpy said: Agree with the above post from THIVG
I found Vietnamese food to be excellent and with such a great variety of flavors and types of dishes.
eodmatt said: TBH anyone who thinks Vietnamese food consists solely of rice, noodle and pho has obviously never tried anything but fast street food.
The real Vietnamese cuisine is very probably the most varied and flavorful food in the world. It is also a very healthy diet.
I must say that I hated salads before coming to live in Vietnam and viewed them solely as plate decoration to go with steaks and suchlike. Having lived here for a couple of years now and having a number of Vietnamese friends as well as a Vietnamese wife, I love eating out and can do so cheaply 7 days a week and not eat the same menu twice.
My reply to all the above:
I should say that to talk about Vietnamese food, it is for me to compare with the food you find in South-East Asia in general. In the last 10 years, I spent 13 months in the Philippines, 6 months in Malaysia, many trip to Cambodia, 1 month in Thailand, 12 months in Dalat (14 months in Mexico, 14 in Guatemala) and now 5 years in Vietnam where I settle down. With this broad overview of food, when I say that "Vietnamese only care for rice, noodle and pho", it is because - IN COMPARAISON - with all other counties' cuisine, Vietnam is a poorly developed country. Let's forget here about Latin America, the Heavenly Garden of this world...
Philippines: I'm saying it is unbeatable !!! All the food you can dream of. In the biggest shopping center of South-East Asia, "The Mall of Asia" (aka MOA), there are 200 restaurants !!! There are food all over the country that you cannot imagine of.
Malaysia: The perfect mix of the planet: Chinese, Malay, and especially, Indian food galore...
Thailand: Let's not start talking about it… we will salivate and get thirsty...
Cambodia: surprisingly, it is a country of some of the most exquisite flavors of Asia.
Vietnam… now, try to convince me.