is famous especially within Asia for its excellent cuisine. With both
Asian influences, and also French, they have melanged together to create
some excellent dishes and some wonderful restaurants in the process.
This guide of restaurants will help you choose where to wine and dine
whilst in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh. There definitely is no need to limit
your experience to the hotel restaurant, and you would be missing out on
all the fun if you did.
in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon)
be found 9 Ngo Duc Ke, right in the heart of the city. It is a small
French restaurant, with a very French feel to it. The lunch time is
extremely busy so it is best to arrive there early especially as they
only have about 10 tables. Their food is typically French with specials
of the day also on offer. Being so small it can be rather intimate but
if you need to feel as if you are almost in a French Bistrot somewhere
then this is the place.
Madame Tinh -
recommended by H.L., Madame Tinh is a superb Vietnamese chef. She ran
the Vietnamese restaurant at the New World until it closed. She now runs
a small little restaurant in the backpacker area with her sisters which
has great food. It is simple, but clean and cheap. Her mother was also a
chef from the Hue area. You will love it. It is always full of
travellers and so quite fun. It is actually in one of those funny little
lanes that runs off Pham Ngu Lau Street. As you enter Pham Ngu Lau
Street it is the second little left lane about 20 metres down on your
following reviews and recommendations were very kindly given to us by a
dear friend HL who is Australian and lived for a long time in Vietnam -
Our sincere thanks go out to you HL.
under Camargue Restaurant: 16 Cao Ba Quat St, D1, HCMC - Hosts Alexander
and Thy. Groovy bar with cool music, board games, pool tables, garden
area and live music on selected nights from about 11pm until late. Good
light meals menu too. Complimentary BBQ in the garden on nights that the
Still a good spot for tourists as the French colonial style open air
villa is such a lovely spot in the heart of the city. International menu
with French feel, reasonable wine list.
Bocca - Newish small restaurant in Nguyen
Thiep St, D1 which runs between Nguyen Hue & Dong Khoi Streets.
Modern interior, soft lighting. Supposedly Italian cuisine but the chef
is French so it is a bit of a mix.
- also in Nguyen Thiep across the road from La Bocca. Used to be a funky
French wine bar, but has been taken over by new management and changed
into a restaurant. Their big plus is a great pizza oven. The chef is
Italian (used to work for the well known Italian restaurant called
Sandro's which is now called Pendalasco's).
- corner of Le Thanh Ton St & Thi Sach St, D1. Great little Irish
pub run by Michael Forsyth, the GM of Riverside Apartments. Great Irish
food, home baked breads, home made sausages, etc - good hearty feel good
Japanese Restaurant - Mac Thi Bui St, D1 -
Pricey by Vietnam standards but good food. Upstairs has private tatami
- Hai Ba Trung St, D1 near corner of Le Loi St. Japanese tavern style
restaurant. A good little spot for inexpensive Japanese meals served at
a little bar counter.
Bordeaux - Fabulous upmarket French
restaurant near the big round about (circle of death !) as you head out
of the city towards An Phu District. Cannot remember the address and in
any case it is hidden away so someone would need to explain to a cab
driver the directions. Hotel staff could do this. It is usually listed
in the weekly Time Out magazine restaurant guide. Hosts Bruno and Jean
Yves are great. They have fresh foi gras flown in from Paris, superb
wines, bucket loads of fresh roses and a very romantic atmosphere. Very
few tourists would know about this place. Bookings recommended.
Bi's - Thi Sach St, D1 - run by the
flamboyant Bi Bi who is known for his wonderful assortment of colourful
espadrilles. Serves great French Mediterranean Cuisine. Complimentary
couscous salad is served when you arrive with crusty bread. he also has
mussels and oysters flown in from France occasionally, makes great
fillet for a group of people.
- Dong Du St, D1 - fabulous French deli
that sells cheese and cold cuts with a small restaurant attached. Open
for lunch and dinner. Great baguettes for take out or eat in if you can
find a seat amongst the French expat lunchtime crowd. Great creme
13 - 13 Ngo Duc Ke St, D1 - a bit touristy
but one of my favourites. Serves classic Vietnamese food that is a step
up from street food, but still cheap and tasty. They cater to foreigners
by serving chicken with no skin, no bones, etc. Extensive menu with some
strange translations like Fried Fallopian tubes. Head waiter is a
charming older man who speaks French to all foreigners. Even serve house
Bordeaux by the glass! Best dishes are Lemongrass Chicken, Deep Fried
Squid with Plum Sauce (read Crusty Squid), Caramel Claypot Pork, Thai
Style Soup and Water Spinach with Garlic.
Shop at Caravelle Hotel - great buffet
especially the Sunday Brunch and Friday Seafood Lunch.
Reflections, 3rd Floor, Caravelle Hotel -
fab restaurant where Exec Chef from Australia, ex-Macau Bella Vista
(which was one of the leading boutique hotels in Asia famous for its
food until it turned itself into the Portuguese Ambassadors
home-previously Mandarin Hotel Group) shows his flair with East meets
West cuisine. Menu features exciting dishes from all over Asia served
with flair and style. Expect unusual platters and artistic presentation,
plus yummy tastes.
Restaurant, New World Hotel Saigon - Le Lai
St, D1 - still one of the best Chinese restaurants in town. Serves great
dim sum for lunch and Sunday brunch.
Restaurant - Thai Van Lung St, D1 -
unsophisticated cafe style place which is great for Sunday cooked
breakfast - cheap and cheerful - try for the table on the upstairs
Thai - Thai Van Lung St, D1- beautiful
decor and fabulous food from your hosts Simon and Cherry Millard. Cherry
is Thai and personally supervises the cooking. Nice little pre-dinner
drinks bar at entrance.
Not? - Thai Van Lung St, D1 - lovely small
French restaurant upstairs. Pleasant decor and good priced set menus.
Yummy desserts - try the sinful chocolate terrine. Your host Ms Thu Anh
Heritage - Corner of Le Thanh Ton &
Thai Van Lung St, D1 - Yummy Indian food. Also serve a lunch buffet
which is good value.
Bar - Hai Ba Trung St, D1 - a pub style
spot with courtyard at the rear run by a Frenchman. TV's for sports and
great pizza from the oven in the coutryard. Also serve up yummy filled
jacket potatoes and hot dogs in baguettes.
Cafe is located close to the Notre Dame
Cathedral, in central Hanoi. They serve some excellent coffee and have a
very wide selection of food. The atmosphere is very relaxed and although
without the views of the Champs Elysees this does have a feel of a
French cafe, where you go to meet and mingle with friends.
Club - A favourite in Hanoi. This club is
verry close to the Opera and Metropole hotel. The food is excellent with
a choice of three restaurants. They offer good value for money and a
very relaxing atmosphere. Our favourite is the library/cigar bar in the
evenings, where you can eat and talk whilst sitting on sofas etc. Very
nice night out.
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