Where to eat in Saigon – 2015
Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon, offers up some of the most amazing dining experiences to their visitors than they could imagine.
The food scene here is evolving in a big way. It has been transformed into a foodie’s paradise with fine dining and international cuisine that will rival any food paradise in the world. Take a look at my personal picks of restaurants for 2015.
El Gaucho Argentinian Steakhouse – 5D Nguyen Sieu, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1
This is a steak lover’s haven, you can choose the type of steak you want, the serving size and the type of sauce you want. They have three types of breeds to choose from: USDA Prime, Back Angus and Certified Angus Beef. You can also choose your portion size – the Filet Steak and Rib Eye Steak are available in 250/350/500/1000 grams serving sizes; while the New York Striploin is available in 300/500 grams serving sizes.
Steak is not the only thing on the menu – try a noteworthy salad like the Warm Goat Cheese on Toast served with grilled vegetables on top of mixed greens or a Nicoise salad. Or start your meal off with the El Gaucho Sampler Platter (Salchicha, Chorizo, Chicken, Mushroom) and Beef Empanadas.
Best in show: USDA Prime Filet Steak with grilled Asparagus and Red Wine sauce with a glass of Merlot wine. If you think you still have room after the feast try out the Dulce de leche for dessert.
Quan UT UT – 168 Vo Van Kiet, Phuong Cau Ong Lanh, District 1
Quan Ut Ut opened only a few months ago and they are already making a name for themselves. It’s an American BBQ restaurant with a Vietnamese flair. They take bar food to a new level with their own craft beer and Premium Ale. Add a few beer munchies like the Just Bacon Plate, Shittake Bombs, or classic Buffalo wings and you just may have a party.
You can try up some classic BBQ sides like green beans, southwest cornbread, corn on the cob, pink slaw, mac & cheese or seasoned fries to make a complete meal or enjoy American food with hot dogs and burgers that come loaded with fixings on a fresh baked bun with salad or French fries.
Best in show: Start your meal off with the deep fried chicken skins. If going there in a group of 3 or 4, get the BBQ Sampler (rib tip, shoulder, smoked chicken, sausage, corn & okra). You can also choose the Full-rack of Cashew smoked Pork Ribs that are so good and the portion size should easily feed at least 3.
Hoa Tuc – 74 Hai Bà Trưng, Bến Nghé, District 1
Get ready for a romantic night out at Hoa Tuc. This contemporary Vietnamese cuisine restaurant is located at Hai Ba Trung which houses several other restaurants. The good thing about this restaurant is they offer some great vegetarian choices also.
They have a cooking class as well.
Best in show: Hoa Tuc Starter Platter (fresh spring rolls, fried spring rolls, fish cakes, and Hoa Tuc Salad). The fish cakes are out of this world! Make your main dish the Seafood fried rice with grilled eggplant on the side. For desert order the sticky rice fritters stuffed with black sesame seeds, red bean paste and coconut cream.
Cyclo Resto – No 6/28 Cach Mang Thang Tam Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money and looking for the traditional Vietnamese meal for a low price, Cyclo Resto is the place to visit. The food is always fresh and Chef Vu also offers a cooking class where you can learn how to prepare some of their top notch Vietnamese dishes. You will enjoy a 5 course meal for $6.
Your five course meal will consist of Spring Rolls, Shrimp Soup with Winter Melon, Beef with Fried Vegetables, Stewed Snakehead fish in a clay pot, Fried Chicken in Lemongrass, Steamed Rice, and . They are open for lunch and dinner.
Saffron – 51 Hai Ba Trung, District 1
Enjoy Mediterranean food at its finest at Saffron where they greet you with a glass of sparkling wine and they won’t charge you for it! Saffron takes its cooking inspiration from Middle Eastern, Northern Africa, Greek, Italian, French and Spanish cuisine. What you will notice first off is the amazing decor – make sure to look up at the ceiling as soon as you enter inside.
This Mediterranean Bistro offers signature dishes whose portions are huge size for a single person. If you like the classics try their cheese plate or crostinis to start, Escargot with mushrooms for your main meal and Chocolate bread pudding for dessert.
Best in Show: Twice Cooked Lamb – the lamb is braised and pressed with mashed potato puree. For dessert enjoy the walnut and honey baklava served with pistachio ice cream.
The Long at Times Square – 57-69F Dong Khoi Street, District 1
This restaurant gets its name from its very long design. Their inspiration comes from the sidewalk cafes fond in France and Italy.
Best in Show: The Bubble Promotion – Buy a bottle of sparkling wine and get four bar snacks for free. Bar snacks to try include: Classic Tomato Bruschetta and Pandan Chicken. Then order yourself a freshly made Margarita Pizza and finish off the feast with one of their gelato. You might have a problem to choose which gelato, as their collection is huge.