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Dishes of the Diaspora


Jennifer Le is serving you a taste of Vietnam.

Chè ba màu (3 colour dessert)

A plethora of colour, bursting full of textures.

My tongue awakening from the soft red bean paste dancing with bounce of pandan jelly.

I am enamoured by the hit of coconut cream wafting into my senses.

What a rich, vibrant culture.

A humble meal shared

It’s true what they say;

the most dingy humble places offer the most enriching palates.

Aside from the fruitful dishes we feasted on,

we were taken into the atmosphere of Vietnam.

Cheap colourful plastic chairs and tables hardly spaced out,

open windows and tiled floors.

It made the dining experience all the more sincere.

Feasting our eyes on the simple gỏi cuốn (rice paper rolls)

As young as primary school, we learn how to roll gỏi cuốn.

Oh, how exciting it was learning how to soften rice paper sheets in hot water.

The trust instilled in us doing this delicate job.

Oh, how I reminisce the fresh lettuce crunch and the bouncy vermicelli,

Draped over by the lively sauce,

its nutty savour filling the room.

Restaurants of the diaspora

I’m proud of you for trying new cuisines with me.

It can be daunting. All you’ve known is foods of your homeland.

As we venture into unknown cities together, let us explore.

Let us celebrate the cultures of our Asian brothers and sisters.

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