in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: At Sakaba Sasuke Izakaya, Happiness Is Wrapped in Pork Belly and Grilled

It took a few visits before I noticed that the music at Sakaba Sasuke was always the same.

in Food Culture

From Won to Đồng, Bánh Đồng Xu Offers a Slice of Nostalgia in the Digital Age

There was a time when I substituted meals with bánh đồng xu.

Khôi Phạm

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Sip on Mugwort Lattes, Make Ceramics, and Unwind at Haru Cottage

“I’m basically Demi Moore from Ghost,” this intrusive thought plagued my mind occasionally during our visit to Haru Cottage to participate in the cafe’s ceramic class.

Khôi Phạm

in Food Culture

What to See, Taste, and Do on a Late-Afternoon Walk in Phú Mỹ Hưng

There are probably Saigoneers who will grow old without ever setting foot in Phú Mỹ Hưng, just like how several of my relatives living in District 8 have never visited Nguyễn Huệ Walking Street. Having grown up in the southern district too, I’ve gone three decades without visiting Cần Giờ or District 12, though our proximity with District 7 means I’ve gotten a few chances to get to know Phú Mỹ Hưng.

in Hanoi Ngõ Nooks

Ngõ Nooks: Bingsu, Folk Crafts, and Hanboks at Hanoi's Hayoon Cafe

“What inspired you to open a Korean cafe?” I ask Giang, the manager of Hayoon Cafe in Nam Từ Liêm, a popular Korean district in Hanoi.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: At D7's Tía Tô, Home-Cooked Korean Comfort Food for the World-Weary

Growing up in South Korea's extremely competitive and high-stress education system, combined with strict Asian parenting, my relationship with my parents has never been easy.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Tokyo Moon Cafe Introduces Homey Korean Flavors to Japan Town

Stepping into Tokyo Moon is like venturing into a world of wonders, neatly packed within a mere 35-square-meter space.

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in Hanoi Ngõ Nooks

Ngõ Nooks: Come for the Coffee, Stay for the Aesthetic

Apparently, the owners of Chon want people to find their café. However, you wouldn’t assume as much when attempting to navigate the narrow, snaking alleyways that lead to their joint. You’ll find a do...

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: In Saigon's First Shots Bar, Usain Bolt and Princess Peach in Test Tubes

Pham Ngu Lao Street, along with its sister street Bui Vien, has been known for almost two decades to foreigners as the perfect place to drink, bunk-in and conveniently repeat. In other words, a booze-...

in Food Culture

Pizza 4P's Receives Investment From Mekong Capital

Vietnam-focused private equity firm Mekong Capital is injecting an undisclosed amount of investment into Vietnam's widely popular fusion pizza chain.

Khoi Pham

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Nhậu and Forming Friendships the Laotian Way in Saigon

“Here we go, I’m gonna do it,” I proclaim to a table of eight friends. On the tip of my chopsticks is a single ant egg, the “pearl of the forest” as some call it. Instead of ending in a dramatic burst...

in Food Culture

Hoi An's Banh Mi Phuong Opens First Overseas Branch in Seoul

After Hanoi’s legendary Pho Thin Lo Duc, another culinary stalwart in Vietnam has brought its creations to East Asia.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Coconut Coffee and Banana Bread in a Quiet Corner of Thao Dien

Thao Dien is known to some as a quiet neighborhood, despite its ongoing development projects. Upscale restaurants and fancy cafes are plentiful, serving a range of gourmet food and drinks. Yet, in bet...

Thi Nguyen

in Food Culture

In Bánh Củ Cải, a Curious Slice of Bac Lieu's Teochew Heritage

You know a dish is special when it can spark conversation with a stranger on a bus. Halfway through the scrumptious bánh củ cải (radish cake) from our last-minute trip to the market, I shared the othe...

in Food Culture

Local Designers Put the Fun in Funky With Mắm Rebranding Project

Although the concept (and smell) might drive some sensitive noses away, fermentation has always been Vietnam’s favorite way to preserve the catch of the day, by turning it into a funky, savory paste.

in Hanoi Ngõ Nooks

Ngõ Nooks: The Deep-Fried Satisfaction of Steamy Bánh Gối

Thanks to being born and bred in Hanoi, I definitely have a love-hate relationship with the city. That said, there are more “loves” than “hates” on my list, and street food in Hanoi plays a huge part ...

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Finding Your Path at a Downtown Vegan Buffet

Peaceful music that chimes with joy, monks that greet you with smiles, and a delectable donation-based vegan buffet — it's a little heaven on earth. Well, heaven underneath a derelict building on Ton ...

in Food Culture

Chinese Internet Is Upset That Italy Seized Hundreds of Century Eggs, Calling Them 'Unfit for Human'

The decision is not amusing to some Chinese citizens.

in Food Culture

Chả Lụa Fit for a Kingdom: How Thailand Fell in Love With Vietnamese Ham

Instead of sunny Saigon, I found myself yet again in relentlessly sunny Bangkok. I had a convenient excuse though: attending a close friend’s wedding.

Khoi Pham

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: A Bowl of Tripe Noodles That Takes You Straight to Hong Kong

In the public discourse surrounding beef and its culinary application, more often than not there’s barely any space for tripe.

in Food Culture

A New Netflix Series Will Showcase Saigon Street Food and 8 Other Asian Cuisines

Food porn addicts rejoice! Street Food, a documentary series focusing on Asia's vibrant pavement cuisine is set to titillate this month on Netflix.

in Food Culture

Burger King Pulls 'Racist' Ad of People Eating 'Vietnamese' Burger With Giant Chopsticks

Have it your way, but what if that way is exaggerated chopstick use with racist undertones?

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: When a Saigon Cafe Gets Its Hanoi Quirks Just Right

There are three H’s that best encompass Vietnam: Hanoi, the capital; Hue, the ancient capital; and Ho Chi Minh City, the economic center. While I am still struck by Hue’s vibrant culture, my memories ...

Khoi Pham

in Food Culture

Opinion: Bún Đậu Mắm Tôm Pizza? Thank U, Next.

“Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.” — Ron Swanson

in Hanoi Ngõ Nooks

Ngõ Nooks: Immerse Yourself in the Traditional Architecture of Cafe Nha San

Nestled deep in a dead-end street reached through a warren of alleyways from an almost impossible-to-see entrance is an ancient-looking building. This stunning traditional Vietnamese stilt-house is on...

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Authentic French Pastries in an Unexpected Part of Town

Perhaps a story not too unfamiliar to many: Tom Nguyen grew up in France as a French-Vietnamese. Any similarity in background with other Viet Kieu, however, ends rather quickly. About two years ago, N...

in Food Culture

Vietnamese Ranks 13th Among World's Most Favorite Cuisines, Survey Says

In a survey involving citizens from 24 countries, Vietnamese food performs above average when compared to 33 other major cuisines across the globe.