Given the rapid urbanisation in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) and the abundance of cheap flights that last only two hours, it’s no wonder that more people are flocking to the Vietnamese city. The bustling city now boasts all kinds of high-end gourmet experiences – such as Noir, where you are served in a pitch-black dining room; and the La Villa French Restaurant, set in a gorgeous private villa and helmed by French chef Thierry Mounon.
But there are plenty of options too if you are looking for something more authentic like a local Vietnamese cuisine, such as a hot bowl of beef pho, or a banh mi on a freshly toasted baguette. We asked some of the #KeppelLandFolks from Keppel Land Vietnam to tell what their favourite local food haunts are.
1. Rat Hue
There are only a few places in HCMC that offer authentic Hue cuisine. Rat Hue, which means “truly Hue”, is one of the rare ones. Located in a small alley along Le Thanh Ton Street, this restaurant features a wide variety of Hue dishes, including bun bo hue (Hue beef noodles), pho cuon (rice paper rolls), and hen xuc banh trang (sautéed clams served with grilled rice paper).
"Rat Hue’s dishes are loved for their authentic Hue tastes and that’s why I love coming here."
Address: Alley no. 136, Le Thanh Ton, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, HCMC
Best time to go: Anytime from 8am to 10.30pm
Cost per meal per person: About S$8 to S$14
2. Oc Khanh
If you love seafood, this is the place for you. Owned by a local celebrity, Oc Khanh features some of the freshest seafood in the country, smothered in its signature butter, tamarind or sacha sauce (a type of fish sauce). Be sure to try the hao nuong pho mai (grilled oysters with cheese) and so diep nuong mo hanh (grilled scallops with green onions).
"The place can be quite crowded during lunch or dinner time. So make sure to come early if you want to try it out!"
Address: 25/5 Nguyen Binh Khiem, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, HCMC
Best time to go: Anytime from 11am to 10pm
Cost per meal per person: About S$11 to S$14
3. Banh Mi Huynh Hoa
It is rare these days to find a S$2 dollar sandwich that tastes like a million bucks. This delicious Vietnamese street delicacy is jam-packed with six to eight layers of luncheon meat, grilled pork, and pork floss. Everything is freshly made – right down to its signature pate and homemade butter.
"Even though it’s only S$2 for a sandwich, expect a full meal, because the baguette is huge and will fill you up easily. The stall gets crowded during peak hours from 7pm till late at night, so expect to wait between 10 to 15 minutes if you visit the stall at these times."
Address: 26 Le Thi Rieng, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, HCMC
Best time to go: Anytime from 3pm to 10pm
Cost per meal per person: About S$2
4. Bun Rieu Cua Bien
For the adventurous, try bun rieu – a type of sea crab noodle dish served with crab meat and snails in a tangy tomato-based broth. Locals swear by the dish, which also comes with extras, such as fish paste and pork ham.
"This place is highly popular among office workers from nearby buildings, and the restaurant is clean and tidy, and the service is good!"
Address: 66 Nguyen Thai Binh, Nguyen Thai Binh Ward, District 1, HCMC
Best time to go: Anytime from 6.30am to 10pm
Cost per meal per person: About S$2 to S$3
5. Sedona Suites Ho Chi Minh City
If you’re looking for a place to stay, check out the Sedona Suites in HCMC. For a special limited time period, the Sedona Suites HCMC is offering an introductory opening offer for suites in the newly opened Grand Tower.
Located in the heart of HCMC’s CBD in District 1 along Le Loi Boulevard, the Grand Tower offers 195 luxury serviced suites housed within levels 28 to 42 of Saigon Centre Tower 2.
Book by 30 April 2018 for travel until 31 July 2018. Click here for more details.