I am definitely NOT someone who enjoys going out to restaurants. Thom and I rarely go out back in Shanghai and can be very happy eating cereal for dinner. However, we enjoyed sampling the local cuisine in Saigon very much. There is no lack of LOTS of amazing restaurants in Saigon so off we went to enjoy the bold flavors and diverse selection plus the price is right! A multi-course meal at a nice place will set you back $40 US or 880,000Dong and that includes the necessary wine to accompany. Cheap!
We learned quickly to plan our excursions outside to include an umbrella as every day the clouds open up in the late afternoon and it dumps lakes onto the crowded streets. Our first full day, we encountered a huge thunderstorm so we managed to just make it across the street from the hotel to at Tandoori, a Middle Eastern place. We’ve become huge curry fans so we had a bold chicken curry with cheese nan and spicy grilled shrimp with saffron rice. As we watched the scooters navigate the water outside, we dug in first to the crisp veggie samosa with pungent sauces to dip into and practically licked the plates. I would have loved to try a new dessert but no room at the inn regretfully.
Not so the next night! I made sure to reserve room to try the strawberry custard while Thom took on the mango sorbet to end our evening. The Vietnamese restaurant where we went, Hoa Tuc, has a cooking school on the top floor which I read is quite good though we didn’t have time to try it out. This restaurant was tucked away with many other fine places in the Refinery, where they used to produce Opium and now just produce awesome food. For the main courses—we tried several out to sample. The coconut milk rice pancakes filled with shrimp and rolled in lettuce leaves, dipped in sauces and eaten with our hands was messily amazing. Are your mouths watering yet??? Then, the mustard leaves rolled with crunchy vegetables inside and a prawn secured on top were next. They disappeared fast.
Thom tucked away his barbeque chicken pieces and I had Vietnamese brown rice with green onions and shrimp. I have never had such wonderful rice—it was dark brown, nutty tasting and so moist,having been cooked in a clay pot. I ate every grain. I could eat a bowl of that every day and be very happy and full.
Our last night in Saigon, we tried to get the energy to go out and try another new place but we had been upgraded to a huge suite at the Park Hyatt so we opted for a quiet room service dinner to enjoy our luxurious digs. The food was adequate but sitting in our living room in our robes while we ate was priceless.