Wide Eyed

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I discovered this amazing website yesterday, a real treasure trove, full of delights especially so if you have to buy a present for a baby. Bianca and Family also restore furniture. Look at the beautiful school desks that were featured on Apartment Therapy.

The magnets above reminded me of a few things which I’ve seen that are as kitsch and I love. I went to Saigon earlier this year and spotted the selection of toys below.

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Last week I went to see Walking In My Mind and was delighted to look into Yoshitomo Nara‘s student shack and his display of toys and dolls.

What I really want to get is these earrings from Les Nereides‘s diffusion line, N2 which are also available as a brooch and cute hair grips.

OBL402-UNICOLOR-1But if wearing kitsch is not for you, there is always decoration. This wallpaper from Nono fits the bill.

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Or buy this beautiful tree designed by Millicent & Frank. Although I think it’s the little deers that complete the look.

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We struck delicious with this coconutreat

Coconut pancake

The best thing about traveling in a country where you don’t speak the language is the element of surprise when buying from street vendors. We’d walked past this lady carrying bags filled with discs and square-shaped wafer/crisp things. On a whim and feeling like we should take a gamble upon spotting a coconut over a tupperware, we signed for an order of this mysterious dish.

The lady spoke no English at all and of the four Vietnamese words I learnt while in Saigon (all words for food), coconut was one of them. We asked for “dua” thinking that perhaps some of these wafer-like discs could be coconut-flavoured, but we weren’t getting anywhere. We decided to just choose a disc- one with black sesame seeds and what proceeded to happen was a guarantee that this was going be a very delicious treat.

It was so beautiful and simple. First the wafer was covered with molasses. Next, she sprinkled freshly grated coconut, and quite a lot of it. Finally she snapped the wafer in half and covered the coconut. She handed us over this wafer sandwich and that first bite was off the hook!

Nothing like the joy of striking delicious with a food gamble in a foreign country.

Pre-dinner Theater Starring Steamed Prawns in Coconut

I had the pleasure of visiting Saigon (or Ho Chi Minh City) recently and one of my most memorable meals there was the traditional Vietnamese dish Steamed Prawns in Coconut. This had been on my list of things to try simply because it had all the key words that smelled like this is probably quite a flavoursome dish. What I didn’t realise was that when I ordered this dish, I was also going to be treated to a pre-dinner theater!

steamed prawns in coconut

The dish came with the steamed prawns hooked onto the coconut prettily like some kind of ornament. The dish was lit up and the prawns were charred by the dancing flames. After awhile, the waiter started peeling each prawn and dropped them into the coconut. My sister and I were in awe. We had not expected to be treated to this spectacle when we ordered.

We fished out the prawns which were sweetened by the coconut juice, pleased that this dish was such a feast for the senses. It reminded me of other delicious dishes that moonlight as entertainers on the dining table. Immediately sizzling hot plates came to mind and so did Bomb Alaska. The anticipation of watching your food perform creates a mouth-watering experience which is mostly down to  the ability to imagine taste.