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.

Back Eat & Drink

in Food Culture

The Best Pho in Vietnam?

With thousands of pho shops across Vietnam, determining the best in the country seems like an impossible task. In fact, for any Vietnamese food, we would hesitate to crown a restaurant 'best of' since...

in Food Culture

Master Chef - Gastronomy Competition @ Mc Sorley's

Food lovers and amateurs chefs with a passion for sharing their favourite food and recipes should not miss Mc Sorley's event “Master Chef.”  It is a gastronomy competition, where teams of 4 memb...

in Food Culture

Ben Thanh is One of the World's Best Food Markets: USA Today

American newspaper, USA Today, just published their list of the "Best food markets around the world" in which Saigon's own Ben Thanh Market ranked 15th. Along with fake DVDs and tourist nik naks, the ...

Brian Letwin

in Food Culture

[Video] Celebrity Chef Anthony Bourdain in Vietnam

Gordon Ramsay isn't the only celebrity chef obsessed with Vietnam. But unlike Ramsay, New York chef, Anthony Bourdain, has a surprisingly close connection to Vietnam, cultivated over many visits since...

Brian Letwin

in Food Culture

Video: The Perfect Cafe Sữa Nóng?

Yes, we know that Saigonese take their cafe sữa with đá (ice) and that the background music is from Thailand. Nonetheless, this playful video by food videographer, Eric Slatkin is well done and worth ...

in Food Culture

Free Food Tuesday 'Arancini' @ deciBel

It all started innocently enough. It was about 6 months ago when the deciBel guys and a group of friends, after complaining that it was often too complicated to match working schedules to arrange a di...

Brian Letwin

in Food Culture

Video: Gordon Ramsay Explores Vietnam and its Cuisine

Gordon Ramsay has made it clear that Vietnamese cuisine is on the top of his list. His love was on full display in the most recent season of Master Chef US, where he tasked the final 5 contestants to ...

Brian Letwin

in Food Culture

London Restaurant Trademarks ‘Pho.’ Social Media Battle Ensues.

It may be hard to comprehend how a company can trademark a word as generic as ‘Pho.’ Apparently the British Intellectual Property Office disagrees as 6 years ago, they allowed a glitzy London chain, ‘...

in Food Culture

Free Barbecue Sunday @ Saigon Outcast

Sharing is in the air in Saigon and I like it, especially if the sharing in question is about food.  The crew at Saigon Outcast invites you on Sunday to a free BBQ (limited, first come first ser...

Brian Letwin

in Food Culture

Vernissage @ Shop 100%

Shop 100% is a great new shop that just opened in D2. It prides itself on being able to trace the sources of its produce to ensure that they are 100% organic. In addition, they are supporting Vietname...

Brian Letwin

in Food Culture

Snakes and Rats and Scorpions, Oh My! The Unique Offerings of the Mekong

During the typhoon season, the women of the West River hunt for bounty in the wildlife-filled swampland. For most of us urban dwellers, the idea of eating scorpion, rats and snakes probably isn’t on t...

Brian Letwin

in Food Culture

Three of Saigon’s Oldest Banh Mi Shops

Banh mi has been an iconic Vietnamese staple since French colonization brought bread to the region in the 18th century. Though the French have come and gone (and come and gone again), the soft, airy b...

Brian Letwin

in Food Culture

A Look Inside a Saigon Rice Noodle Plant

Over the past month, the news has been full of reports about chemically-laced bun noodles. Though recent tests have shown a decrease in the cancer-causing additives, the issue is still top-of-mind fo...

Brian Letwin

in Food Culture

Vietnam’s Development Through the Lens of Iron Chef

The Atlantic recently published a piece on Vietnam’s increasing development and westernization. Instead of looking at economic statistics and trends, they chose to examine this through the lens of one...

Brian Letwin

in Food Culture

Can Coffee Save the Vietnamese Economy?

As inefficient state-owned business drag down Vietnam’s economy with bad debt, other sectors must pick up the slack. In times of economic stagnation, the country has one fallback - agriculture.

Brian Letwin

in Food Culture

Vietnam is Turning into a Country of Yogurt Addicts

At the rate yogurt is gaining popularity in Vietnam, it soon may be the preferred currency in the black market. According to VietnamNet, the Vietnamese yogurt market is expected to reach VN...

Brian Letwin

in Food Culture

Phở-Flavored Cocktail Makes Its Debut. Seriously.

Pho is a universally adored dish (yes, even aliens love it), a melody of simple ingredients that yield abundantly complex flavors. Bottom line - it's goddamn delicious. So it's no surprise that people...

Brian Letwin

in Food Culture

For Foreigners, Eating in Vietnam not Always as Easy as it Looks

Vietnam is world renowned for its food, confirmed by the likes of Anthony Bourdain and Gordon Ramsey who have dedicated entire TV specials to the country’s culinary soul. And for those of us who live ...

in Food Culture

Bugs & Flowers

On a typical day in Cai Lay District, about 90 KM outside Ho Chi Minh City, farmers toil in the field tending to their rice paddies. But today is special, and like any special day in Vietnam it will e...

Brian Letwin

in Food Culture

Nuoc Mam: Ketchup’s Great-grandfather

Ketchup has an interesting lineage. Nuoc mam, or fish sauce, is a staple condiment in Asia where it has been used for hundreds of years. Its flavor-enhancing characteristics make it akin to ketchup i...