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Mary's Dinner Club Stories - Vietnamese Evening

by Mary Anglberger - Yes, the Vietnamese evening turned out to be a great success… something I had actually started to doubt at one point. Several people had said how they regretted missing this Asian feast due to the many other events happening this time of year and Saturday morning found me with only four confirmed bookings.

I was still hopeful, going about my usual preparation business, but then came an ‘onslaught’ of can’t-make-it-after-all text messages by all the 'maybes' on my list…

Well, it ended up being seven people after all – and lovely ones at that! The mood was fantastic from the very first arrival and everyone got on like a house on fire. Lots of funny jokes were made with no one being shy poking a bit of fun at their new friends.   

Now the menu was off to a rocky start too. The home made spring rolls (again) did not collaborate and started sticking to everything in their way the minute I took them out of the freezer. I thought I’d take care of that by deep frying them right away (along the lines ‘I’ll show you’)… bad idea! They decided to explode in the hot oil and I ended up with shredded cabbage and carrots, rice noodles and mushrooms having a great time popping about in that oil, ruthlessly deserting the once carefully folded rice wrappers…. 

I saved what was to be saved and the ‘least rebellious’ ones were served on a bed of lettuce with the advice to wrap (hide) them quickly. They did taste good and caused lots of laughter when two of them decided to do a final wild leap off their plates…. Now there’s an item that shall not be found on the menu again. Thanks to my guests for their good humor!

I was very pleased that the vegetarians loved their tofu so much as using the ginger-garlic marinade meant for the pork was also a bit experimental – this time victoriously so. Another big success: the traditional Nuoc Cham sauce made with oyster sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, shredded carrots…. I actually thought it tasted ‘funny’ and even considered not serving it but the guests loved it and I was even asked for 'refills' on both tables. I guess it’s just me who’s not keen on anything oyster.

For the yummy dessert of Vietnamese banana cake - apparently one of the few baked desserts they have - we moved both tables together and good conversations continued over tea and coffee.

Some of us prolonged the eve with a brief visit to a local dance floor and I believe that once again a good time was had by all. Thank you everybody for joining and till soon!

Maybe even till next Saturday when we’ll be enjoying a somewhat less exotic (and hopefully less rebellious) Swiss meal with cheese salad, meat strudel and apple rings. Learn more on Mary's Dinner Club Facebook page.

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