Saturday, February 27, 2010

Vietnam House and Other Food

Vietnam House- Set Menu for 1 person (400.000 vnd- RM80)
Clockwise from Top Left: Deep Fried Duck Breast with Orange Sauce, Prawns Meat on Sugarcane Stick, Caramel Custard, Sauteed Glass Noodles with Crab (109.000 vnd- RM22), Vietnam House Sampler, Steamboat, Spicy Squid Salad, Seafood Kebab with Ginger Sauce

Just like Quan An Ngon, Vietnam House appears in the Google search of 'food in HCMC'. Vietnam House is said to be one of the best restaurants specializing in Vietnamese and International cuisine. The restaurant is somewhat historical as it is actually in a restored French colonial house with French deco and gives you a nostalgic feel while you dine. The best way to sample a little bit of everything would be the Set Menu consisting of 7 courses and prices vary for the type of food you'd like to sample. Vietnam House is the only place we dined that charges service tax and VAT...

Assorted Rice Dishes @ Dai Do Mi and Com Tam Moc
Clockwise Top Left: Crispy Skin Chicken with Tomato Rice (39.000 vnd- RM7.80), Pork BBQ and Pork Skin Rice Set (49.000 vnd- RM9.80), Stir Fried Beef Lemongrass Chilli and Steamed Rice (42.000 vnd- RM8.40), Pork BBQ and Pork Pie Rice Set (49.000 vnd- RM9.80)

My travelling buddy, Alex was determined to get his rice dish so we dropped by at random restaurants to sample some. I would say there's nothing much to shout about except that they are pretty value for money.

Assorted Noodles
Clockwise Left: Pork Noodles in Nha Trang, Vemicelli with Pork and Fish Fillets, Wanton Noodles with Pork and Fish Fillets @ Calimette Street

We also tried some simple noodle dishes at a random stall but was very disappointed with it as they were as simple as the instant meehoon you get in supermarkets (and not cheap too, perhaps because we were tourists??).

Bahn Mi (Pork Sandwich)- 10.000 vnd or RM2
Pork liver pate, pickles, vege, pork ham, char siew in a Vietnamese baguette

The Bahn Mi or Pork Sandwich is a must try as it is the staple breakfast of many Vietnamese. Served in a Vietnamese Baguette (to be honest, I love this bread- it's so soft and fluffy!), buttered with pork liver pate, Vietnamese mayo, cold pork cuts like ham and 'char siew', pickles, tomato slices, and garnished with coriander. It's cheap and good!

Cafe Sua Da (7.000 vnd- RM1.40)
Strong iced coffee with sweetened condensed milk

If 'teh tarik' is the national drink of Malaysia (or is it not?), then Cafe Sua Da or Iced Coffee with Sweetened Condensed Milk is the national drink of Vietnam. Almost every cafe, restaurant and street side stall will offer this drink in their menu and I can see why- it's goooooooooood! This will surely delight all caffeine addicts as this is the Starbucks of Vietnam! And again, it's cheap and gooooooooooood!

Banana in Ice Cream @ Diamond Plaza

A different kind of ice cream potong with banana in it.

Vietnam House

93-95, Dong Khoi St,
District 1, HCMC.
Tel: (84-8) 3829 1623

Dai Do Mi
67, Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, P.Ben Thanh,
Q.1, HCMC.
Tel: 08 3915 2334

Com Tam Moc (Vietnamese Broken Rice)
48, Le Thanh Ton
85, Ly Tu Trong

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Famous Pho 24

Clockwise from Top Left:
Lamp-terns, traditional Vietnamese coffee, gwai lohs, packed with people!

Yes, still on the same subject of Vietnam.

Pho 24 is a very famous pho joint as it's not only available in Vietnam but have also spreaded its wings to other parts of the world such as Hong Kong, US, Australia, Indonesia, Korea, and Cambodia. It's like the Vietnamese version of McD! It's hard not to spot a Pho 24 outlet due to the theme vibrant green colour.

Clockwise from Top Left:
Pho with Chicken (38.000vnd- RM7.60), Deep Fried Spring Rolls (32.000vnd- RM6.40), Iced Coffee with Condensed Milk (24.000vnd- RM4.80), Pho Special- Fillet, well done flank, fat brisket, soft tendon, tripe muscle and well done brisket (45.000vnd- RM9)

The Pho-s were good, we especially enjoyed the Pho Special which has everything and anything you could ever want in your beef noodles. And a great Vietnamese meal cannot be complete without an iced coffee!

Clockwise from Top Left:
The Saigon Opera House, the famous Vietnam House at night, a gallery with Eiling's initials and the HCMC Louis Vuitton

The city of Ho Chi Minh has much to offer, besides being a historical place, it also boasts an upmarket area where the rich can still get their fair share of LVs and branded goods.

Snow Town
Green Tea with Red Bean Snow Ice (35.000vnd-RM7)

I also got to relive my memories of having green tea with red bean snow ice which I had in Perth! The one in Perth tastes better and I can't believe why this isn't in Malaysia yet! (Or if anyone knows if it's in Malaysia already???)

Clockwise from Top Left:
Alex buying some fried snacks, Diamond Plaza where all the expensive things are, Riverside Hotel by the Saigon River, Fried Assorted Snacks

Diamond Plaza is the well known high class shopping center in HCMC. Coincidentally, I also met some international colleagues there as the Vietnam HQ is located at Diamond Plaza.

Clockwise from Top Left:
A monument in the city, motorcycles being the main form of transportation, HCMC Post Office

Pho 24
5, Nguyen Thiep Street,
District 2, HCMC.
Tel: 0084 8822 6278

Snow Town
TTTM Parkson Q.1
35, Bis Le Thanh Ton- P.Ben Nghe- Q.1

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cheap Seafood at Hai Lua, Ben Thanh

Dinner for two on the first night

Besides the pho and spring rolls, we also discovered a cheap seafood place which only operates at night. When Ben Thanh market closes down in the evening, the whole market scene is shifted to the roadsides where you can find yourself in a pasar malam. There is also a street dedicated to food where stalls are set up with the whole kitchen transported from the lorry equipped with tables, chairs, utensils, table cloth and uniformed waiters!

Clockwise from Top Left:
Hotpot Seafood in Thailand's Taste (135.000 vnd- RM27), Clams Fried with Garlic (38.000 vnd- RM7.60), Harvested from the Hotpot, Red Snapper Grilled with Salt & Spicy (98.000 vnd- RM19.60), Spring Rolls for Display, Clams Roasted with Tamarind (42.000 vnd- RM8.40)

The menu was flourished with too many choices that we simply couldn't make up our mind. With only 2 stomachs, we tried to manage within our cravings and means ($$ and stomach space). On the first night, we ordered the hotpot seafood (aka steamboat), clams in two styles- garlic and tamarind and a big grilled fish! While I wouldn't say they were excellent, given the price it was well worth it.

Clockwise from Top Left:
Frog Fried with Butter (69.000 vnd- RM13.80), Frog Grilled with Five Tastes, Stir Fried (69.000 vnd- RM13.80), Grilled Mullet (98.000 vnd- RM19.60)

On the last night, we decided to give Hai Lua a revisit since there are so many other dishes we have not tried. This time, we had the frog done in 2 styles- fried with butter and grilled. Frogs, though they're quite yucky and sends chills down my spine when alive, tastes good when cooked! I love 'tin kai chuk' (frog porridge) as the meat is so smooth and tender. We had another fish, this time a grilled mullet. We did not enjoy this fish much as it has a lot of bones :(

Prawn Steamed with Coconut Water (85.000 vnd 1/2 kg- RM17, 165.000 vnd 1kg- RM33)

After seeing this dish on few others' tables, we jumped on the bandwagon as well. This one is really unique as the prawns are dipped in coconut water whilst the dried ice beneath it helps to 'fire up' the coconut. The waiter even provided peeling service so that we don't have to dirty our hands.

Clockwise from Top Left:
Edible Snail Steamed with Citronella (98.000 vnd- RM19.60), Papaya Shake and Sweet Pamelo Juice (15.000 vnd and 24.000 vnd- RM3 and RM4.80), Clam Boiled and Steamed (40.000 vnd- RM8), Loadsa people at Hai Lua

To max our experience at Hai Lua, we ordered 2 types of shellfish that night- escargots and clams, both of which were so-so only. Hai Lua is a popular dine out place at night amongst the locals and tourists alike, thanks to it's marketing strategy of putting a bbq pit outside to attract passersby of the grilled seafood smell.

All these food for less than RM100 per pax for 2 nights.

Hai Lua Restaurant
Crossroads of Luu Van Lang and Phan Boi Chau St
Next to Ben Thanh Market

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt

Tutti Frutti colours

While waiting for dinner time to arrive, we stopped briefly at Ben Thanh area to kill time. We spotted this Tutti Frutti outlet and gave it a shot- and also to rest our tired feet.

They were self-service machines with different flavoured frozen yogurt (much less like the sundae churning machine at McD, only that they're all frutti flavours). This is more fun as you get to control how much frozen yogurt you want. After that, proceed to the counter where they have a variety of toppings- dried fruits, nuts, chocs, fresh fruits, cereals etc. The price is dependent on the weight of the frozen yogurt- 25.000vnd for 100g (RM5).

Do check out their website below- it's very interactive and vibrant!

p/s: Tutti Frutti is now available in Malaysia too @Sunway Pyramid, IOI Mall, BSC, TTDI, Times Square and Capital Square!

Now, here's something for those who are weight conscious but still want to indulge....... ;-)

Tutti Frutti
Available @
114, Nguyen Hue, Q1
19, Han Thuyen, Q1
15-17, Phan Chu Trinh, Q1
469 Nguyen Huru Thy, Q7
Ho Chi Minh City

[disclaimer: the opinions expressed here are based on my personal views, tastebuds and preference and may vary for others. please dont sue me, i dont have money. kthxbye.]
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