Welcome to our Ho Chi Minh (HCM) Food Trek! I say food trek since we spent a great deal of our HCM vacation on foot. This was of course, our mental and financial preference – a perfect excuse to always eat some more!
As for the Banh Mi on the main photo, this was taken at Illy at the HCM Tan Son Nhat airport terminal and turns out, it has meat spread (aside from the chicken strips)! So sorry, I had to ditch this one for the carrot cake you will see later.
Note: Sorry guys, white meat only for this cheeky traveller so most of the stuff I ♥ were on the green side!
This post is just a summary of the awesome meals we had in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam! I am so bad with Vietnamese words, so pardon the typo and forgotten “names”. I tried!
First stop was PHO HA at 2am in the morning. The place, let me tell you, was neither posh nor air-conditioned, but my, the pho was absolutely heartwarming and oozing with greens (which for me is such a rare treat).
It would be odd to say that the chicken pho tasted legit (because this is Vietnam, duh). But truly, I haven’t had this herby and succulent flavor in any of the phos in Manila, so yes, I slurped the darn bowl since we were walking back to the hotel.
Duc Vuong Hotel
Interestingly, our hotel’s breakfast spread isn’t too bad. It has spaghetti, cornflakes, green beans, eggs and of course, chicken pho! Surprisingly, the hotel pho is not bad!
Black and Brown Coffee
Too early for the War Remnant Museum, we had our first authentic Vietnamese Coffee at Black and Brown Coffee. Perfectly rich, warm and sweet – this is something I could never replicate ever!
We just had a bit of a “lost in translation” moment with the waitress who could not understand napkin, tissue, paper, charading it did not help either – so we just grabbed it from the counter!
Singapore Food Restaurant
After visiting the Mariamman Hindu Temple, we were famished and ate at the place right in front of it! Our commitment to pure Vietnamese food was broken when I indulged in Seafood Noodles.
Still it wasn’t so bad, especially when a cockroach asked me how my meal went and disappeared at the next table.
Oh, they have free wifi, so we were able to take an Uber back to the hotel.
This one is one of those places that I could not remember, except for a photo of a mall-like structure that says Sense Market. However inside is like a food park where names and noodles just flooded my photo folder.
Confused and hungry, all I can remember was ordering a Vietnamese Omelet with 4 kinds of mushroom. It came with so much more – greens in a bilao! I wanted to bring them all home!
Vit Gay Restaurant (but searchable also as Duck Slim in Google)
This one I totally forgot. The key words I used in Google were “duck”‘ “Pasteur” and “in front of Saigon Centre”. 20% helpful. Luckily, googling duck curry and duck misua did the trick.
This place supposedly specializes in “duck” dishes. Well guess what, they can make that claim! Both duck dishes were rich and flavorful. I’m not normally a duck person, but that misua was like the perfect “duck pho” if you ask me.
Mekong Delta Tour: Mekong Tien Gang or Mekong Rest Stop
We went on a 1/2 day tour of Mekong Delta and lunch was included in the package. The place was literally named Mekong Rest Stop but it was an outdoor place with a fish pond, so it wasn’t that touristy.
As the menu shows, we had 8 dishes, but my favorites include the Fried ball sticky rice (it was like tikoy with a crunchy crust below) and Crispy fried “elephant ear” fish. The latter was craftily placed in a roll with greens and vermicelli noodles – but I was too hungry to take a photo of the finished rolls! =(
Lastly as part of the Mekong tour, they let us sample that bee pollen with honey and banana chips, with a list of so many medicinal benefits and life changing blah-blah. Well the blah-blah seemed to have worked because we bought 3 packets of the bee pollen!
The one on the right are Cassava slices from our Cu Chi Tunnel tour. A filling snack!
Yamamoto Mattcha Cafe
Yes, they spell matcha with 2 letter Ts.
Lost and tired in Saigon Center, I just needed to have a matcha break. Found this Yamamoto place that had soft serve. In my honest opinion, it was on the expensive side but thank goodness, the rich matcha flavor made up for my price pain point.
Airport – Illy
Last but not the least, the waiting time in Tan Son Nhat Airport was like hours! We wanted to sleep in the pods but could not check in because we were too damn early.
Had to burn the remaining cash with the banh mi I wasted, beer and my precious carrot cake. Carrot cake = dinner!
All in all, the HCM Food Trek was totally awesome. If I would come back for just the food, it wouldn’t be a lie!
Lazy Black Cat’s Top 3:
- Pho Ha – Chicken Pho
- Vit Gay – Duck Misua
- Mekong Rest Stop – Crispy fried “elephant ear” fish