I found Bánh Mì Hòa Mã thanks to the great Migrationology website which chronicles the foodie journey of Mark Wiens. Banh mi op la is the Vietnamese version of oeuf au plat. All in all, this is a deconstructed breakfast version of the popular banh mi sandwich.
Starbucks is now in Vietnam. I won’t lie to you, the first time I visited Vietnam, I could not imagine Starbucks in the streets of Ho Chi Minh. The streets are changing quickly but I still can’t figure out if it’s for the best.
Disclaimer: I visited Marukame udon on my third visit to Ho Chi Minh. I tend to stay away from non-local food when I travel, but I simply could not resist. I did resist to try the Yoshinoya at the new HCM Aeon mall.
If you throw a rock in Japan, there is a good chance you will hit a Marugame udon shop. Just a few km from my house there are 2 or 3 shops, so you can imagine my surprise when I saw one in the center of Ho Chi Minh. Marugame became Marukame, but don’t be fool by the spelling, this is the foreign branding of the popular chain of udon restaurants.
We visited Huynh Hoa banh mi as soon as we landed in Ho Chi Minh and we ended up going back twice during our third visit to Vietnam. Before I left Japan, I read about this place on Mark Wiens website and it was featured in my wife Japanese guide books.
Lẩu Dê Trương Định was located 10m from the door of my appartment in Ho Chi Minh and the amazing smell won me over. This restaurant which serves goat meat was always packed . This restaurant is a short walk from the center of Ho Chi Minh and it’s a great place to mingle with the locals.
My third visit to Ho Chi Minh was marked by the major subway construction project taking place right in the center of the city and the numerous new restaurants which had sprung up since our last visit. The Workshop was on my list of new places to visit. The new coffee shop located right in the heart of Dong Khoi street attracted a lot of attention online and I went there the first day I landed in Vietnam.
As I recently came back from my third trip to Vietnam, I read Graham Holliday’s Eating Vietnam with a certain amount of street food nostalgia. If you never been to Vietnam, you need to read this book, if you have been, read it anyway.
When I read about Koto Saigon restaurant before leaving for Vietnam I was sold to the idea of a restaurant helping disadvantaged kids get ahead, but once I got there I was convinced that the idea is a success.