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The World Cup of Food: Vietnam vs Malaysia

Sport may be off the cards during the COVID-19 crisis, but the World Cup of Food is on!

Every week, Kate and Scorcher will try cuisine from two different countries, and they’ll go head-to-head.

Then we’ll open it up to you to choose the weekly match winner! To vote call 9832 5050 during the World Cup of Food segment.

In round one, Mexico triumphed over China.

Now, Vietnam takes on Malaysia for round two!

Kate — Vietnam

WHAT KATE ATE: 

Well it’s no surprise we went to Footscray, where most of the suburb is actually currently shut. But not Vinh Ha Long, a popular corner eatery on 76 Nicholson St Footscray, that was operating for takeaway only and had a huge menu.

Standouts

Ha Noi-style Spring Rolls – the main difference with your garden variety spring roll is really just the wrapping, these are enveloped in crispy, crunchy fried rice paper rather than wheat. They still come with the obligatory lettuce, myriad of Vietnamese herbs and chilli dipping sauce.

Vietnamese Pork & Prawn Coleslaw – one of my favourite salads, a crisp assortment of raw veg (think carrots, cabbage, papaya or lotus rootlet), fresh herbs, pork and juicy prawns, and a beautifully balanced dressing.

Bo La Lot (Grilled Beef in Vine Leaf) – a light, healthy little snack. The meat laced with lemongrass and spices, wrapped in betel leaves and grilled; sprinkled with peanuts and spring onion; wrapped in lettuce and regional herbs, and dipped in chilli dressing. It’s basically a health food version of the spring roll!

Salt and Pepper Chicken Ribs – Fried chicken – need I say more? Crunchy, fried chicken ribs, topped with a sweet mix of fried onion and peppers. Finger-lickin’ good finger food.

Banh Xeo (Vietnamese pancake with prawn and pork) – no ordinary pancake, this batter consists of rice flour, water, and turmeric and is cooked in coconut oil – so it’s a lovely light texture. Inside – a combo of tasty pork, fat prawns, bean sprouts, and onion. I reckon this was the biggest Banh Xeo I’ve had, so plenty of Banh for your buck!

Scorcher — Malaysia

WHAT SCORCHER ATE:

Scorcher got takeaway from Roti Road, a highly popular, buzzy Malaysian restaurant in Barkly Street, Footscray. Roti Road has an extensive menu of hawker-style dishes, soups, curries, roti breads, BBQ meats, you name it! It’s a great spot for the family and it’s super cheap!

189-193 Barkly Street Footscrayrotiroad.com.au

Standouts

Roti canai with rendang beef. Roti canai – the wonderful fluffy, puffy flatbread – is a staple in Malaysia and when paired with rendang, possibly the tastiest curry on Earth, it’s incredible.

Char kway teow, Malaysian-style stir-fried rice noodles with prawns, fish cakes, egg, chives, onion and bean shoots. This is my go-to Malaysian dish.

Curry laksa. Another quintessential Malaysian dish. Beautiful coconut-based curry broth with yellow noodles, eggplant and chicken (seafood option available). Kicks the crap out of pho.

Nasi goreng, aka Malaysian fried rice, which comes with shrimp, chicken, egg, tofu, bean shoots, tomato, choy sum and shrimp paste. It’s even wonderful eaten as leftovers the next day.

ROUND TWO RESULT: Vietnam won with 69% of the vote!

Press PLAY below for more.

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