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.

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.

Back Eat & Drink

Khoi Pham

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Cô Khanh's Vegetarian Banquet and a Trip Down Memory Lane

On days when the thought of biting into a slab of greasy fried pork fills your gut with mild disgust, Saigon’s scores of vegetarian eateries are exactly what you need to cleanse your palate.

in Food Culture

Thailand Is Getting Its Own Michelin Guide by the End of 2017

After Singapore, it looks like Thailand will be the next country in Southeast Asia to get its own Michelin guide.

Michael Tatarski

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Grilled Chicken With a Side of Jet Fuel

In the pantheon of great street food locations in Saigon, many of my favorite places to chow down can barely even be considered restaurants. Is there really a need for four walls and real furniture wh...

in Food Culture

70% of D1's Street Food Vendors Don't Meet Food Safety Standards: Report

The majority of District 1’s street vendors do not comply with health standards, according to a recent report, but the situation has improved since 2015.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Beef and Booze at Lau Bo Co Thao

The alley where cô Thao has set up shop isn’t worth remembering. A high concrete wall runs down one side, reflecting the sun that’s sapping our energy on this hot, dusty Friday afternoon, while the ot...

Khoi Pham

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Refreshing Chè at Hiển Khánh, a 60-Year-Old Retro Hangout

Relishing a bowl of assorted chè at Thach Che Hien Khanh is more than just an afternoon spent shooting the breeze with friends, it’s also a trip down memory lane and an exploration into Saigon’s herit...

Khoi Pham

in Food Culture

Prickly History: The Fruit That Tastes Like Heaven and Smells Like Hell

Despite its regal title — “the king of fruit” — durian’s taste and distinctive smell have long been a divisive topic among foodies the world over. Originally from the island of Borneo, through ti...

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Loriekot’s Filipino Fare in the Heart of Saigon

In Saigon, there are plenty of places you don’t see when you’re breezing by on a motorbike. If you are (hopefully) focused on the road ahead, the narrow shopfronts and modest quán lining most Saigon s...

Khoi Pham

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: A Perfect Plate of Cơm Trưa by the River

In Saigon, cơm trưa is more than just a meal: it’s also a cultural trait, a community and, at times, a serious business, all wrapped up in a plate of freshly cooked rice and perfectly caramelized chun...

in Food Culture

Saigon Among Top 10 Most Vegan-Friendly Cities in Asia: PETA

PETA Asia recently named Saigon among the top 10 most vegan-friendly cities in Asia.

in Food Culture

Japanese Firms Are Training Flavor Experts to Better Understand Southeast Asian Tastes

Hungry for a piece of Southeast Asia’s rapidly expanding market, Japanese food companies are turning to flavorists and other experts to learn more about the region’s food preferences.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Lunch Hour Gone Rogue at Oc Thao

In the vast and complex world of Saigon street food, ốc is generally classified as a staple of the fourth meal: nhậu. Its various forms, whether doused in garlic, drizzled with mỡ hành or swimming in ...

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Saigoneer’s 5 Best Hẻm Gems of 2016

We’ve done a lot of eating this year.

in Eat & Drink

Meet the Owner of Hanoi’s Secret Cafe

Vietnam has long been a coffee-drinking country, but over the last few years a growing number of enthusiasts have started to take the brew very seriously.

Khoi Pham

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Getting Your Fried Chicken and Noodle Fix in D4

“When in doubt, have chicken.” – Saigoneer proverb

in Food Culture

Bánh Khúc Cây Giáng Sinh: A French Tradition Lives on in Vietnam

With Christmas around the corner, Saigon’s demand for Yule log cakes, a holdover from the days of French colonialism, has returned.

in Food Culture

Saigon Launches New App to Track Pork's Origin

From now on, Saigoneers can get to know their pork better via a brand-new app that displays the origin of the protein along with other useful information.

in Food Culture

Bottoms Up: Alcohol Consumption Exploding in Vietnam

While this may come as no surprise to anyone who has driven past one of Saigon's many raucous beer clubs, Vietnam is home to one of the fastest-growing alcohol markets in the world.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Cô Hong’s Killer Late-Night Cơm Tấm

In the 16 years she’s spent selling cơm tấm on the District 4 side of the Calmette Bridge, cô Hong has seen some things.

Brian Letwin

in Food Culture

[Photos] Rita Cafe, a Lush Oasis Under Saigon Bridge

Before it was added to Google Maps a few months back, Cafe Rita was nothing more, it seemed, than a green smudge along the District 2 side of the Saigon Bridge.