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Mekong Merchant: A Slice of the Mekong in District 2

I recently visited Mekong Merchant in Thao Dien, District 2. Upon entering, you cannot miss the big open air patio surrounded by thatched buildings and shady trees. The natural setting features ample space and a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere where staff provide outstanding service and lots of smiles.

It usually gets rather busy for breakfast and dinner, but when I visited it at lunch time, it was packed so they must be doing something good! The fast service and large tables help to create an airy experience even when busy, which is nice as most people love to feel relaxed when dining.

Mekong Merchant offers a special lunch menu, however a la carte is always available.

The open sandwich with huge Phu Quoc prawns and homemade mayonnaise and mango salad (VND195,000) was very tasty and outstanding, is not a sandwich but a meal on its own!

If you are looking for something unusual and different, try the boquerones (raw anchovies marinated in vinegar, garlic, olive oil) and seared tuna salad (VND235,000), it is a real treat.

The steak frites was delicious, properly cooked to your wish, with different cuts of beef available; although I am not much of a chips person, I must say that those served with the steak were fantastic, which is rather difficult to find in Vietnam.

The cold platters can be tailor made to your tastes, with a large selection of options helping you eat what you really fancy, rather than something standardized and prepared for someone else’s palate. I went for a mix of chorizo, salami and Serrano ham, all imported from Europe and served with a selection of roasted vegetables, it was ideal to start our meal, and accompanied with a glass of Sauvignon blanc, the food disappeared very quickly.

A new offering at Mekong Merchant are the moules mariniere (mussels in white wine and cream) which were very nice and fresh, served with a delicious sauce and fantastic chips; a good size portion served in a traditional clay pot.

The restaurant has started its own bakery where apart from croissants, virtually every product is baked at home, using only the best natural ingredients. They also sell homemade chutneys and comfiture as well as a few other gourmet foods.

Mekong Merchant serves up Mediterranean-style fare with Australian and French influences under the direction of head chef, Adrian Scott. The laid back atmosphere and traditional ornamentation seemingly transports you to the middle of the Mekong River.

Mekong Merchant, 23 Thao Dien, District 2, HCMC. 08 3744 4713

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