Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Wraps and Rolls in HCMC

Our arrival at HCMC was at night time, hence our first food adventure was dinner.

Day 1 - Dinner 

Pho5Sao, along Hoang Hoa Tham road.

Pho noodle - chicken and beef pho noodle soup,

The beef are thinly sliced, hence tender and tasty as it absorbed the flavor of the broth, which is a mix of sweet and salty in it. Adding lime juice to get that sour taste is refreshing to taste.

Chicken was native grown, as evident from the chewy meat.


Day 2 - Breakfast

Since we have to depart early for Vung Tau trip, we brought packed breakfast, which consists of: 

Bánh mì - Bread with pork ham, can't taste the natural flavor since it is processed meat, and dressing is just mayo. What stands out is the crispy Baguette bread.

Bánh mì
Bánh bao

Pork Bun (Bánh bao) - with quail egg inside and tasty meaty filling. Like traditional Chinese pork bun 肉包  (or Siopao of Philippines).

Day 2 - Lunch 
Gành Hào, Vung Tau 

They ranked 2nd among the best restaurants in Vung Tao (according to TripAdvisor).

They have two types of beach side dining area, first is the casual outdoor theme, with underwater painted ceiling.

The other one is more traditional indoor, more formal dining setup -

Our lunch was consists of -  Squid in sweet and sour sauce,  Oyster omelet

A whole Fish prepared into two dishes, 

Head part was made into soup, the broth was tasty, and sweet, fish was off-course fresh

and tail part was grilled.

Grilled fish was coated with chilly paste, complementing with Salt-Pepper-Lime sauce.

Day 2 - Dinner

Hoang Ty - along Hoang Hoa Tham road.

This was one of the highlight of our culinary experience in HCMC, 

Two main dish was ordered -

Prawn Pancake  -

Bánh xèo

Combination of thinly sliced Pork & Young Cow -

Grilled beef wrapped in leaves, like a sausage :

bò nướng lá lốt

All the meat and prawns were served with basket full of leaves and herbs, and rice papers, with complimenting fish sauces.  They are eaten with the wrap of your choice: rice paper, or any of the leaves.

Every bite of the spring rolls are mouthwatering, the crispy fresh leaves, with the tasty filling of either, crispy prawn pancake, pork, young beef, or beef sausage.


What I like about Vietnamese wraps or spring rolls, is no matter how many I consumed, and even over indulge my appetite,  the following day, the digestion process is fast and easy (you know what I mean!). And there is no bloated feeling.  Its guilt free! and surely one of the healthiest cuisine in Asia, probably next to Japanese food.

Day 3 - Breakfast

Hoàng Hoa Thám Market

A morning visit to the wet market is in itself an experience.  From it, we brought back some assorted of glutinous rice dishes,

Bánh cuô'n

Vietnamese Chee Chow Fen (bánh cuô'n),

Bánh cuô'n

Side dish of Banh Cuo'n is this Green Bean cakes, which compliments with the fish sauces.

Another glutinous rice dish is this Banh beo,

Bánh bèo

Day 3 -  Lunch

Thong Dong Quan

It was a relaxing neighborhood restaurant, with homy feel

I ordered their Bun Cha, which was almost similar to Hanoi Bun Cha, but the difference is the grilled pork meat was already dipped into the fish sauce, and here the charcoal flavor is not prominent.

Bun Cha complimenting side dish is the fried spring roll filled with glass noodle and black fungus.

Crab meat noodle soup,

Bún riêu

The crab soup had a subtle taste. Would taste better if you add a dash of lime juice.

Day 3 - High-Tea Snack

Eon Cafe 

As an afternoon, high tea time, we tried their Vietnam Coffee and Strawberry Sunday,

While on 50th level of Bitexco tower, overlooking panoramic view of HCMC.

Day 3 - Dinner
There are other restaurant chain which has same name, so be careful in looking for this restaurant. Located at 6 Hoang Viet Street, Tan Binh District and 106 Suong Nguyet Anh St, District 1, Ho Chi Minh.

This a seafood restaurant known among locals.  We had their best seller:  Fish Salad roll, it was the specialty of the restaurant. You can only find this here! No other place serves this dish.  

Goi cá Ngoc Suong
Taste of the fish slices were fragrant with the ginger strips, its more delicious if you wrap it in a rice paper.

Seafood spring roll,

This spring roll is richly field with mayonnaise and prawn, its like a prawn salad spring roll!

Baked Oyster -

Fresh sweet earthy taste of the Oyster blends well with the baked cheese on top.

Seafood porridge -

As our last meal, this porridge looks simple, but once you dig into it, the fresh fish slices, prawn, squid, crab, will surely surprise your taste bud.

All the above dishes were savory and would surely be back here when I have the opportunity to return.

Day 4 - Breakfast at Airport 

Our last menu for this trip was inside the Tan Son Nhat Airport - Apricot lounge.  One have to walk to left side after passing the the security check, and there is a lift down to level 1.

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