in Snack Attack

Gỏi Đu Đủ Reflects the Mekong Region's Culinary and Cultural Wisdoms

As the cicadas begin to sing in the tamarind canopies along Pasteur Street after the first monsoon rain, vivid scenes from my formative years flash by in my mind. My cheeks became flushed and my eyes teary, but not from the harsh sun and wind, nor the frustration of losing multiple marble games; it was the sight, or rather, the scent of a papaya salad enveloped in Cô Ri pungent anchovy sauce.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: In D5, a Family Durian Xôi Xiêm Recipe Inspired by Cambodia

At first glance, xôi xiêm sầu riêng — or sticky rice with egg custard and durian — may appear plain-looking, but apart from being a tasty sweet treat, this simple dish also holds stories of life during Vietnam’s post-war period.

in Snack Attack

A Pilgrimage to Sơn La, Vietnam's National Mận Capital, as a Devoted Fan

There’s a kind of sweet, sour, and slightly tannic fruit that never fails to make our mouths water every summer.

Paul Christiansen

in Food Culture

Banana Is a Paragon of Neutrality. I Propose Using It as a Metric to Rank All Fruits.

Line up all the world’s fruits, best to worst, taking into account every rateable aspect imaginable including taste, appearance, price, reliability and seasonality — the banana rests at the exact middle. So I've personally used it as the ideal threshold to rank every fruit I've ever eaten.

in Snack Attack

An Ode to Dried Fruit, Vietnam's Parent-Approved Way for Children to Sugar Load

I first knew dried fruit as a category of munchy snacks that had my parents’ approval.

Paul Christiansen

in Dishcovery

We Should Offer Gỏi Măng Cụt a Full-Time Position in Saigon's Food Scene

The mangosteen salad trend hit TikTok in 2023, creating a demand that led locals to quit their jobs and take on more lucra...

Thi Nguyễn

in Snack Attack

A Tale of Two Fruits: The Colonial History of Durian and Mangosteen

Although both durian and mangosteen are native to Southeast Asia, their reputation — especially from a western point of view — leads two very contrasting fates: the latter is considered a luscious delicacy while the former usually finds itself at the center of many insult-throwing contests.

Back Eat & Drink

in Food Culture

Foreign Fast Food Chains Stagnate as Locals Still Prefer Street Food

Most foreign fast food chains in Vietnam have fallen short of their initial projections, as burgers and fries can’t compete with the vibrant culture of local street food.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Phieu Ky’s Fantastic Phở Sa Tế

While Pho Phieu Ky’s white walls and fluorescent lighting are nothing special, the hideaway shop in District 5 makes up for its bland color scheme by pasting neon characters – Roman and Chinese – acro...

in Food Culture

[Video] Americans Try Bánh Mì for the First Time, Can't Stop Eating

Don’t watch this video when you’re hungry.

Khoi Pham

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Cô Nhi and Chú Den's Humble Nui Xào Bò Cart

At this point in our Hẻm Gem journey, I’ve stopped thinking of us – a two-person team consisting of me and my photographer colleague Brandon – as mere food reviewers, but rather food hunters from hunt...

in Food Culture

A Brief History of Curry in Vietnam

It is well documented that southern Vietnam’s cuisine has been influenced by the French, but it is also undeniable that the fare has been influenced by another of France’s former colonial hubs: the po...

Michael Tatarski

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Praise Be to Cheap, Tender, Delicious Chicken by the Mosque

Thanks to central Saigon's blistering pace of development and the short-lived sidewalk-clearing campaign of 2017's early months, the downtown area can be something of a street food desert.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Chef Badeh Brings Syrian Cuisine to Saigon

In the small covered area outside the front door, Chef Badeh brings together two of my favorite things: bread and fire.

in Food Culture

[Video] A Virtual Tour of Malaysia's Top-Notch Durian Plantation

Most people around here are familiar with the durian fruit and its unique smell; however, not many have actually been to a durian plantation.

in Food Culture

Vietnam's Expanding Beer Market an Attractive Target for Foreign Brewers

Competition among foreign brewers is intensifying as Vietnam is poised to become the biggest beer market in Southeast Asia this year.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Kickin' It at Kim Thao's Hột Vịt Lộn Hangout

In the thick of rainy season, afternoon snack spots are hard to come by. Street vendors make do with cement-weighted umbrellas and heavily used tarpaulin, carving out (relatively) dry patches on the s...

in Food Culture

A Melbourne Restaurant Has Created Alcoholic Phở, Because Why Not

Phở-loving alcoholics, rejoice!

Khoi Pham

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: In Search of Saigon's Best Home-Cooked Char Kway Teow

Saigon’s street vendors are a special bunch. They come in various shapes, sizes and backgrounds, but all have one raison d'être: creating the most enticing and memorable dishes that leave patrons year...

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: The Bowl of Cao Lầu Worth a Run Across the City

Hoi An's cuisine makes a modest appearance in District 7's food paradise.

in Food Culture

In Northern Thailand, Cancer-Causing Local Delicacy Poses Health Risk

Northeastern Thailand's famed Isaan cuisine is bursting with flavor and is well-known throughout the country, but one beloved local delicacy poses a dangerous health risk to people who eat it.

Michael Tatarski

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: The D5 Beefsteak Joint That Means Business

There is no shortage of restaurants slinging beef-based dishes in Saigon, but every now and then one comes along and stands out from the pack.

in Food Culture

[Video] Taiwan's Stinky Tofu Is Not a Dish for the Faint-Hearted

Like Southeast Asia’s slew of durian desserts, Taiwan’s stinky tofu dishes are an acquired taste.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Co Huoi and Her West-of-the-Border Delights

One of my favorite Saigon pastimes is wandering around strange neighborhoods. If you’re feeling lost or bored or lonely or just a little too comfortable, have someone drop you off in a district you do...

Khoi Pham

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: The Life-Changing Beauty of Bánh Cuốn Trứng

If I have to drive eight kilometers across the city to get breakfast, it’d better be damn good.

Michael Tatarski

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Pasteur Street's Well-Hidden Cơm Trưa Mother Lode

Every once in a while, you come across a simple Vietnamese restaurant that absolutely blows you away.

Khoi Pham

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: D5's Bò Xào Sa Tế, a Feast for All the Senses

Saigon is changing at a dizzying rate, and so is its food scene: forget about your favorite café or restaurant for a few months and you can come back one day to find it replaced by a convenience store...