I started my Vietnamese food adventure in Hanoi by trying the various types of Vietnamese noodle dishes. In Ho Chi Minh City, the repertoire was wider and included Western and Chinese food as well.
This café located at Bui Vien Street in the backpacker area of Pham Ngu Lao came up a few times while I was researching for where to eat in Ho Chi Minh. As it was near where we stayed, we popped by for dinner after we arrived from Hanoi.
The café offers scores of dishes – from Vietnamese to Indian and European to Mexican and everything in between.
Service was quick. Food was tasty and portions were sizeable for the price. I particularly like the mango juice. It was thick, sweet and there were mango bits in the juice.
The meal of a chicken chop, fried rice with pork chop and 2 glasses of fruit juice cost VND146,000.
Hoang Yen Buffet
A Vietnamese friend brought us to this restaurant in Zen Plaza, District 1 for dinner. We arrived early, just after 6pm. Apparently the restaurant is very popular and quite difficult to find seats during meal time.
This chain restaurant established in 2009 is part of the Hoang Yen Group. Diners are spoilt for choice as it offers a wide variety of North, Middle and South Vietnamese dishes. This restaurant is a good option for tourists or oversea Vietnamese who want to sample the many traditional Vietnamese dishes all in one place.
Amongst the 70 or so dishes are salad, BBQ to seafood, made to order noodle dishes and fried cakes.
And I also found balut for those brave enough to stomach it.
Hoa Co Mi Sui Cao (華哥水餃面)
The next day, our Vietnamese friend brought us to this Chinese eatery located on 143 Nguyen Du in District 1 for dinner.
The eatery specializes in dumplings noodle (水饺面). They also serve other popular Chinese noodle dishes such as wanton noodle (云吞面) and noodle with barbecued pork (叉烧面). Another popular Chinese noodle dish sold here is fish rice noodle (鱼片面). According to our friend, the shop proprietor learnt to cook all the dishes in Singapore.
The noodles were nice but the wantan was nothing special. Perhaps we should have ordered their dumplings instead.
Pho Ong Hung
Pho Ong Hung is a fast and casual dining for pho. It has a chain of more than 20 restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City.
The restaurant offers a few pho options, compliment dishes and appetizers in its menu. Though not the best pho that we have eaten, the pho served here are pretty decent and at reasonable price – VND160,000 for 2 bowls of pho and 4 shrimps and pork spring rolls.
Though we didn’t manage to try out as many Vietnamese dishes as compared to Hanoi but I hope this gives you some idea the different types of food you can try while in Ho Chi Minh.