You know you have been in Vietnam too long when…


…you eat your french fries with both ketchup and chili sauce.  Vietnamese love to eat their meals with chili sauce.  Four years ago I thought they were crazy.  Now I have started to mix ketchup and chili sauce for my fries.

Becoming Vietnamese - KFC

(KFC ketchup and chili sauce)

Becoming Vietnamese - KFC

(My ketchup and chili sauce mixture)

Becoming Vietnamese - KFC

(My meal)


  1. Hey Kevin

    I am sorry to sound so preachy but eating fried foods at KFC or similar “junk food” emporiums is not healthy and sets a horrible example to those of your students who, no doubt, look up to you as someone to emulate. I read recently in your blog the concerns expressed about your diet and that is the only reason I would presume to offer unsolicited advice.
    That KFC enjoys such undeserved cachet here in HCMC is a paean to the power of propaganda and many Vietnamese wanting to be western-style consumers. In the real world those eating at a KFC wouldn’t want to displayed like bland mono-chromatic aquarium fish, as is the situation here in Vietnam. Local KFCs are designed and illuminated to provide all of the passers-by unmissable bright tableaus, spectacles of those smug (I’m just guessing here?) customers sitting within.

    On another note: I was recently amazed to see the lightning quick transformation of a short-lived LOTTERIA junk-food burger joint, at Pham Ngu Lao and De Tham streets, into the brand new and enlarged ALLEZ BOO bar and cafe. The long bar is back though the pool table wasn’t in evidence on the ground floor. There are two more levels above the street which I haven’t checked out. I always appreciated the mist sprayed over the sidewalk outside the former location, I hope that pedestrian amenity is back also!

  2. As a former dorm-mate back in the 90s used to tell me, we are all born to die 🙂 Anyway, you always sound preachy in your comments to me 🙂

    Anyway, I had a chicken sandwich which I really like. I went there since I liked their mashed potatoes and gravy.

    To say bad things about fast food is anti-American!!! 🙂

    Loterria just moved to a larger location on Trung Hung Dao street. My theory about Pham Ngu Lao is that it will convert to higher priced establishments. I always felt that there will be a new backpacker area in Saigon, possibly closer to the airport. Pham Ngu Lao will eventually outprice the backpackers. I think this happened in Bangkok?

  3. I live in Boston and I like to mix ketchup with chili sauce. Some of my co-wokers think I’m weird but hey, I like it 🙂 I think it’s a Vietnamese thing everywhere not just in VietNam.

  4. Really?!! You used to not mix up chill and sketch up when eating KFC?
    Hihihi, you astound me :p
    Maybe I do it so many times and assumed it naturally come with fries 🙂

Comments are closed.