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Somehow it starts with tofu.

The historical interrelationships of Southeast Asian countries is fascinating, especially for those in the Indochina parts. Amazingly, they have each maintained such strong individual cultures and that is no more apparent than in the food. You see, after some time in Vietnam a few of us were tired of Vietnamese food. So, obviously we wanted a burger or a burrito or pizza? Right? Wrong. We went for Thai food at a place called Tuk Tuk.

The menu had everything written in Thai, English and Vietnamese, so it was easy to some ordering done and we began with Tao Hu Tord Sauce Makham. This was simply deep-fried tofu with lemongrass and tamarind. As you probably know, I am not the biggest tofu fan, but when it’s cooked right I am all about it. This stuff was done right, with a crispy exterior, a silky interior and a punch of lemongrass, pepper and tamarind on the outside.

Curry in no hurry whatsoever.

For my main course I ordered the Gaem Phed Ped Confit, which was their red curry and came with duck confit, pineapple and lychee. Since I love all of those things, it probably goes without saying that I loved this dish. And the truth is that I really did. I ordered it with just the right amount of spiciness and the flavors paired perfectly with each other. The sauce was so good that I kept sipping it and gave a bunch to my eating companion who had ordered the weirdest version of massaman curry I had ever seen (it was almost like a dry dish).

Mango sticky rice bridging the divide.

Things ended with some classic Khaomeow Mamuang, or as I like to call it, Mango Sticky Rice with Coconut Ice Cream. It was a perfect not-too-sweet way to end a meal.

And yet, while I enjoyed every aspect of my meal at Tuk Tuk, it is probably worth noting that this place does not adhere to the concept of bringing out food for an entire table at the same time. Certainly, I don’t expect that when I am abroad, but Tuk Tuk took this to an entirely new and frustrating level. Regardless, all is well that ends well and nobody left hungry or unhappy about the food itself. So, you know, if you are interested in breaking away from Vietnamese food in Ho Chi Minh City, Tuk Tuk will do the job.