Before coming to Viet Nam, Mike and I had got online and looked into things to do here, places to go, foods to eat….. you know, do some research ~ make a list ….. and last night we checked one of those things off our list.
We took a cab over the river (the Red River) and through the crazy jungle of Ha Noi to more or less a suburb called Le Mat. Here are a few pictures of our journey….
There are long, long stretches of these mosaics throughout Ha Noi. A real variety of sizes and styles. Very cool.
The Red River begins in China’s Yunnan Province, forms part of the border between Viet Nam and China and flows mostly southeasterly, emptying into the Gulf of Tonkin (or what the Vietnamese call the East Sea). Along the way it and its tributaries form the Red River Delta, an agriculturally rich area…..and that’s your geography lesson for today!
We were going to Le Mat for dinner. We didn’t have a specific restaurant in mind, but figured we’d find one once we got there. We knew there would be quite a few ~ Le Mat has a reputation…… The cab driver knew what we were there for and he took us to a great place ~ when he’s taking you to Le Mat for dinner, he can be pretty sure that what you seek is to an ran……
And not just any snake…..
…..cobra on the menu………
…..and cobra on the floor right by our feet……
…..aiming for Mike’s foot.
Sorry about the blurry pictures. I hadn’t quite got my camera adjusted for the lighting yet. Plus this was all happening fairly quickly.
Here’s a man happy in his work. He was casually holding the cobra’s tail while we were trying to figure out if we could afford the dinner! It was actually a lot more than we’d anticipated and we just hadn’t brought enough money between us…..and we still needed to get back to Ha Noi……or clean cobra cages…. But we were there ~ it was time to go for it…so we did…
….I mean, how could we resist?
The cobra was hissing, flaring its hood and trying to strike. I kept my distance (as with the monster spider, I’m really happy I have a zoom lens!).
Once we told them we wanted to go for it (or rather, once Mike haggled the price down a bit) the young man set to work…..
…..making the first cut.
…..for the first cocktail….. the Blood Cocktail.
Then going for the (we think) spleen….
…..for the second cocktail….
…the Spleen Juice Cocktail…?
…..which they served in pretty little glasses…..
….along with the still beating heart…….
Don’t worry ~ the cocktails are mixed with
a disinfectant some very strong alcohol before they serve them. Mike had the honor of slurping up the still beating heart (this after all was his birthday celebration dinner…..not to mention the fact that I don’t think I could’ve done it!).
MAN EATS BEATING COBRA HEART ~ FILM AT 11:00
…..thump thump….thump thump….
I tried a little taste of it (after it had stopped beating!) then we drank our cocktails. We quickly developed super-human powers and were soon flying off the balcony with the bats into the night sky. Wheeeee!
Very soon they brought out dish after dish:
Fried Cobra Skin. Very crispy and crunchy. Not a lot of flavor, but interesting anyway.
Crushed and Fried Cobra Bones…. we think….. You scoop it up with a sort of tortilla (made out of I don’t know what) and it’s really tasty.
Snake meat stir fry. Delicious.
Cobra Sausage Rolls….sorta. These were absolutely scrumptious.
Another sort of sausages wrapped in nori…..I’m guessing. Not quite as delicious, but still pretty darned good.
And here are the two happy, full, rather bleary eyed trekkers after our delicious meal.
So, if you ever find yourself in Le Mat…..
…..follow this sign….
….come ‘n get it….