The spring roll ingredients are all cut (by yours truly and the others) and placed separately on the plate. These colours and separation indicate the elements and you'll notice many Vietnamese cooks and recipes place emphasis on this. Dishes in Vietnam appeal to gastronomes via five senses: food arrangement attracts eyes, sounds come from crisp ingredients, five spices are detected on the tongue, aromatic ingredients coming mainly from herbs stimulate the nose, and some meals, especially finger food, can be perceived by touching.
We get the broth boiling for the pho, the spices flaming and the smells wafting over are mouth watering! We all take turns chopping, mixing, grinding and char-grilling and frying. It's very interactive, fun and friendly.
Here comes the heart breaker, I had to leave BEFORE the dishes were finished! No fault but my own, I had booked the tour full knowing that I would have to leave early and miss out, however I didn't want to miss out on this experience and I am so, so, so glad that I made the effort to go and meet Chef Dat and the wonderful tour and environment he has created.