My Dining Wishlist: Ho Chi Minh City

Heading to Ho Chi Minh City (aka Saigon) in July and there are a few things that I would love to try. I’ve enjoyed Vietnamese food in Auckland, but trying the cuisine in its local environment will hopefully mean that I get an authetic experience.

Here are a few things that I wish to try:

Banh Mi | Streetside stalls are everywhere in Vietnam and their simple salad sandwich has come highly recommend by friends who have travelled to Vietnam as well as travel/foodie bloggers. Chunks of grilled pork inside fluffy French baguette combined with Vietnamese mayonnaise, picked radish and carrot, topped with a touch of chilli sauce. I’ve had some pretty amazing Banh Mi in Auckland, so I’ve got high expectations on what the real deal will be like!

Coffee | Vietnamese iced coffee aka Ca Phe Sua Da is made via brewing a dark roast over a single metal french drip filter and served with condensed milk poured over ice. This rich cooling drink will be sure to soothe the heat as well as give a energetic caffine kick!

Pho | How can you go to Vietnam and not have a bowl of pho?! We will be spoilt for choice when it comes to finding an eatery that serves amazing pho, so I hoping to try several different places. Now the trouble is deciding which store to try.

Com Tam | aka Broken Rice. A dish made with broken rice grains, a choice of meat, various greens and pickled vegetables. Broken rice grains is a cheaper grain of rice because it is made up of grains that has been broken during the milling process, therefore making com tam an inexpensive rice dish!

Dessert (Che) | Che refers to any traditional Vietnamese sweet beverage, soup or pudding. These can be made of jelly, mung beans, tapioca, fruit, coconut cream, glutinous rice or a combination of such ingredients. Served either hot or cold, the options are endless! There are similiar desserts like these all over Asia, so it will be interesting to try ones from Vietnam.

I’ve been told that the best way to experience the food in HCMC is to eat like the locals by visiting the Ben Tahn Markets and street side stalls as this will give me an authentic experience. Hopefully I will be able to do that in the Foodie Scooter Tour.

Despite wanting to submerge myself in the culture, I wouldn’t mind dining at a restaurants like the Temple Club and L’usine which is 10 minutes walk from our accommodation because hopefully this will mean air conditioning and a nice cooling break from the humidity.

 

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7 Comments

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  1. Great post. L’Usine is quite nice. Enjoy Saigon!

  2. Thank you! Do you have any recommendations??

  3. Sure! Tons. Found this cute pho bar called “ru. Pho Bar”.. Check out The Refinery as well. I’ve blogged about where I would again should I make another trip to Saigon – check it out! :)

  4. As well as the drip coffee, make sure you try civet cat coffee or “weasel coffee”. It’s really rich and caramel flavoured. When we were in Vietnam (Hanoi), we loved it so much we bought bags of coffee home for all our coffee loving friends. We went onto a few other countries afterwards so we had to carry them in our backpacks the whole time. That’s true friendship!

    We had many pho and bahn mi. The pho was very good but I found the bahn me we had didn’t have much filling in them. They were very cheap though, about $0.20 per sandwich so I guess I can’t really complain, though I would preferred to pay $1 and get 5 times the filling! We are much more generous (greedy) when it comes to filling here in NZ but we charge 40 times as much so I guess that makes sense.

    Oh and maybe it’s very Westernised of me, but we ordered fresh spring rolls everywhere we went. Will you do the same?

    The strangest thing I ate in Vietnam was snake. My husband and I sought out a snake restaurant where we killed and ate a snake over 8 courses. With heart, blood, bile and booze is not for the fainthearted but a food related memory I will never ever forget!

  5. Thanks for your comment! I am a huge coffee addict so I will make sure that I try civet cat coffee. Is it available at most stores or will I need to go to a specialty store?

    I agree, sometimes when things are cheap, its hard to expect perfection. I might just have to eat three times my normal amount!

    Im not a huge fan of fresh spring rolls, so hopefully I can fill my tummy with other amazing things!

    I had snake quite a while ago when I was in Hong Kong. Not as crazy as 8 course tho! Did you like the taste?

  6. The taste was OK. Not something that I would purposely seek out, more of a tourist/adventure activity. I remember when we first arrived in Malaysia, the food was so cheap (about $1-2NZ per person) that we thought they must be small so we ordered 3 mains each. They were regular dinner portions. We ate till we couldn’t see straight. We didn’t have a fridge so we had to do our best.

  7. I better bring loose fitting pants then!

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