Rich in culture and history, Vietnam is fast establishing itself as a well-known culinary mecca in Southeast Asia, and there is nowhere better to immerse yourself in the exquisite flavours of Vietnamese food than in Ho Chi Minh City. Arguably one of Asia’s best kept culinary secrets, the food scene in the city has been growing at an impressive rate in recent years to showcase the enticing and eclectic flavours of this diverse country.
Whether you are entirely new to Vietnamese cuisine or an aficionado seeking your fix, then Ho Chi Minh City presents an experience like no other. With so much to choose from at your doorstep from haute cuisine to delectable street food, you’ll find dishes to suit all appetites. On a trip to this vibrant and bustling city, you will discover that there is a lot more to Vietnamese food than just authentic Pho and Banh Mi, although these traditional delicacies themselves are well worth the trip.
The city is the gateway to an authentic gastronomic experience as the Vietnamese cuisine boasts a vast array of flavours. With much of the city’s food sourced from the fertile low lands of the Mekong Delta, you can always be guaranteed to be served with fresh local ingredients. Although upmarket restaurants are popular, many locals choose to enjoy the street food and with good reason. The recipes that create the dishes are time-honoured and have been passed down through generations with continuing refinement. It is easy to lose an evening wandering through the streets and immerse yourself in the true tastes of Vietnam.
A trip to the city is not complete without a visit to Nha Hang Ngon, a must when you are in Ho Chi Minh. Located in the heart of the city, it’s a great spot to be introduced to the extensive cuisines. Set in a colourful colonial villa, the restaurant gives a somewhat elegant vibe, but with its stellar reputation amongst locals and tourists alike it offers reasonable prices. With great seating both indoors and outdoors, Nha Hang Ngon offers a large variety of the very best street food in stylish surroundings. Take a walk around the perimeter of the restaurant to watch the food being prepared as each cook serves up a specialised traditional dish.
Another great spot not to miss when in the city is Cuc Gack Quan. Hidden down a secluded side street, this little gem can be somewhat difficult to locate, but once you do, it is more than worth it as the food will have you returning for more. Set in a traditional French mansion, the owner, an architect has tastefully restored the building and the décor is not to be missed. The vast menu includes a variety of traditional Vietnamese dishes, some plucked straight from the surrounding countryside. Staff are always on hand to provide recommendations for you. This is definitely not one to be missed, so be sure to book ahead as you’re planning your trip itinerary.
If it is a fine dining experience you are after, then look no further than Xu Restaurant. Conveniently located on the busy street of Hai Bai Trung, the restaurant is just a stone’s throw from the Saigon Opera House. The menu consists of a mix of traditional and contemporary Vietnamese cuisine, some with a Western twist. Be sure to try their bun bo hue, a popular dish on their menu. Once you have enjoyed your meal on the upper floor you can make your way to the bar on the ground floor, which hosts a DJ and an impressive cocktail menu.
Those looking to experience the local flavours of Ho Chi Minh City can take advantage of Vietjet’s great value daily return fights between Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City. The flight departs Changi International Airport at 1.00pm (local time) and Tan Son Nhat International Airport at 8.55am (local time).
Food enthusiasts wanting to explore more of what Vietnam has to offer can benefit from low fares from Singapore to over 10 stunning locations in Vietnam via Ho Chi Minh City to destinations such as Da Nang, Hanoi, Hue and Phu Quoc. With a new and modern fleet, the airline features fast and easy check in, high quality on-board services and delicious meals, so you can get a taste of Vietnamese food before you even touch down.
Photocredits : Google images