Thursday, December 20, 2007

Cobra and Crackers

Watch out Hissing Sid, Sneaky Snake and serpent from the Garden of Eden. It's payback time!

Le Mat is a town just outside Hanoi where they specialize in exotic cuisines - particularly snake. Three of us caught a cab into town and we were soon joined by two motorcycle outriders banging on the windows and yelling at us. It turns out we weren't about to be robbed - the guys were just hawking for their competing snake restaurants. One of them escorted us to his establishment where we were ushered upstairs into an empty dinning room. Before we had even sat down a man appeared holding a sack, with something writhing inside...

Our snake emerges from it's sack. It was very pissed off, as you would be in the circumstances.

The creepy-looking proprietor with the long fingernails slits the snake's throat - insomuch as a snake isn't just one long throat. He drains the blood into glasses and the snake hisses its last as he cuts out the heart.

We began the meal with a snake blood and snake wine mixer, garnished with the heart which was still pumping away. Snake wine is made from rice vodka that has been marinading a dead snake. Bottoms up!

Mmmm, the snake heart slipped down so easily! I felt the snakepower begin to surge through my body!

Further courses included (starting clockwise from the bottom) snake gruel, grilled snake, sautéed snake, sautéed snake bits with citronella, soft fried snake skin and snake rolls. There was an accompaniment of snake fried rice, snake soup and crackers. There's a theme. Have you guessed what it is?

A very simple bill. Snackes, hear and beer. The perfect meal.

A big vat of snake wine. I'm glad my Mum and Dad stuck to crabapple wine in our airing cupboard at home.

This is where the poor little blighters live before the tasteless tourists and crazy locals turn up. I'll take the lively chap in hutch number 5 please!

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