October 23, 2016

Six things about the $6 Bourdain-Obama meal


Deep in the heart of Hanoi, US President Barack Obama sat down for a $6 meal with celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain on Tuesday. The chef, known for his love of adventurous street food, described the date in a series of tweets and an Instagram post.
Here are six observations about the noodle summit at a hole-in-the-wall eatery.
1. Nobody appears to know they are there
The other diners appear to be totally oblivious to the presence of the US president, a celebrity chef, and presumably a substantial security detail, photographers and film crew.
“Love how the diners were so good at pretending they had no idea who is sitting at the table next to them,” tweeted Brazilian journalist Sofia Perpetua.
The crowd outside the restaurant was slightly less restrained.
The discussion on Reddit, which attracted 3,000 users, spilled over into where any secret service agents might be hiding.
2. The symmetrical food
On the menu was bun cha, a Vietnamese dish of grilled pork and rice noodles, some greens, all washed down with Hanoi beer. On social media, there were questions about the positioning of the food.
“The perfect alignment of the food disturbs me,” said an Instagram user. “Look at how symmetrical the bowls, chopsticks and plates are.”
A bit more joie de vivre from another user: “Eating in perfect symmetry, awesome and smart.”
3. Presidential chopstick skills – but a wrapper on the floor
Anthony Bourdain was quick to praise the president’s chopsticks skills, describing them as “on point”. And everyone seemed to agree.
“Proud of the president, that he placed his chopsticks neatly on top of his bowl and not stabbed them into the noodles – that would have been so rude and a big sign of disrespect,” said another user.

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