In front of the Municipal Theatre after the show
We almost missed the entrance as the doorway was dimly lit. Beyond the door, we climbed up the flight of rickety wooden stairs to reach the dining area, decorated with brick walls and white tablecloths, exuding an air of French colonial influence.
We had fried prawn spring roll, steamed tofu with minced pork and mushrooms, stir fried kangkung, stir-fried chicken in lemongrass and stewed pork in claypot.
A Vietnamese colleague recommended Ngoc Suong Marina also known as Marina Saigon Seafood Cuisine for our team dinner. It is an upmarket seafood restaurant, with aquariums on the ground floor from which you can order produce cooked to your desire.
Fish salad, eaten rolled up like a spring roll
On the last night, we went to Cuc Gach Quan, located inside a French colonial house. The décor is rutic and elegant, cluttered with recycled vintage items to “remind people of the old time”. The restaurant focuses on traditional country Vietnamese cuisine, food typically found in a Vietnamese home.
We sat at the alfresco area
We had rice with stir fried pumpkin flowers (or was it lily bubs?), fried tofu with lemongrass and chilli, stir fried soft shell crab with tamarind sauce and sour soup with fish. Recycling isn’t limited to re-using old items–even the straw used to serve fresh fruit juices is a stem from the water morning glory.
Whenever I travel, I try to make it a point to visit their local market and followed a colleague to one. Apparently there’s a special Vietnamese rice for porridge and the best one was in this market (which I have no idea where).