Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Eating in Saigon

Ice cream always tastes extra delicious when you are on holiday. Maybe the creamy indulgence just feels better without the pressures of work and home. Kem Bach Dang's specialty was the ice cream served in a coconut and topped with candied fruits. Yummmikins! It tastes as good as it looks! We also ordered a "Luo Han Guo" drink which was quite nice with a twist of Thai lime. This is also where I shot my Saigon Traffic video - from the 2nd floor of the restaurant overlooking Le Loi Street.

Our first dinner in Saigon - we walked out to find a little restaurant along Ly Tu Trong Street called Huong Lai Vietnamese Restaurant. The map in LP positioned the little dot wrongly so we wondered around along the dim street for a bit before finally locating the restaurant. A security guard at a nearby building must be used to seeing lost tourists because he pointed out the restaurant to us.

It was worth the trouble though. The restaurant supposedly trains and employs homeless street kids. The upstairs dining area is airy and had some nice brick and timber finishing. We ordered fresh vietnamese rice paper rolls, grilled pork ribs, tofu with minced meat and vegetable soup.

The highlight of the dinner was when a HUGE RAT ran around the dining room!! One lady wanted to climb up on her chair and a few people were a little (not overly) excited. I just hoped that the rat came from downstairs and not from the kitchen!

Kakatua has written about our day trip out to Cu Chi Tunnels. We stocked up the night before at Parkson Supermarket with mini kumquats (the kind you eat with the skin), really sweet pomelo, ham and bread. We didn't know that they were going to drop us at a restaurant for a sit-down lunch. Oh well.. it's just more pho and fried stuff. We didn't feel so bad ordering just Saigon beer and coffee because some of the other people didn't order anything at all.

After a tiring day riding in the bus to & from Cu Chi Tunnels, we wanted to try Lemongrass because it was raved about in Lonely Planet to have the best Vietnamese food and that you can hardly find anything on the menu that isn't good. Alas, it was a Saturday night and the tourists were out in full force and we were not fortunate enough to get a table.

The other restaurant recommendations in LP didn't sound too exciting and some places we tried to find had already closed down! Finally we settled for a restaurant in LP that had just a bland introduction, Tàn Nam Vietnamese Restaurant. Sadly, the dishes were bland as well and the portions were too big. We ended up over-ordering and stuffing ourselves silly. Well, not quite lah... as it was definitely not worth the sin!

Didn't feel inspired to take pictures of the food, so there're only 2 shots of food here.


su said...

wat's that on the plate in the picture that's all by itself? Thought it looked like crab meat...

Viv & Chewie said...

Oh!! Haha... It's just a plate of very fragrant flowers in some water. Couldn't resist taking that pic to remind myself of how nice they smelled (even tho it was placed in the bathroom)!