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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.

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 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.

Khoi Pham

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Hẻm Gems: Phu Nhuan's Beef Inferno

It might take more than a few Hẻm Gem reviews to chronicle all the things I have gone through for good food in Saigon.

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Hẻm Gems: Striking a Balance With D10's Chè

If life is all about balance so, too, is food.

Khoi Pham

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Hẻm Gems: D1's Rainy-Day Cháo Mực

“A cháo a day keeps the cold at bay.” – Saigoneer proverb

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Hẻm Gems: An Old-School Nhậu on D10's Bia Hơi Block

Any self-respecting Saigoneer has a certain reverence for the art of nhậu.

Brian Letwin

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Hẻm Gems: Crab Curry Fit for a King

At a glance, this week’s District 4 Hẻm Gem might appear like any typical ốc restaurant in Saigon. Quan Oc 63’s laminated menu offers up no less than 40 dishes within its sticky plastic pages. However...

Khoi Pham

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Hẻm Gems: Nguyen Thuong Hien's Quaint Corner Juice Heaven

In Saigon, when life gives you grapefruits, you create a thriving business to sell its juice to health-conscious locals.

Khoi Pham

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: D1's Bún Mọc Assembly Line

We leave our office in search of District 1’s famed phở áp chảo only to find bún mọc in a hopeless place.

Khoi Pham

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Hẻm Gems: Nguyen Tri Phuong's Chicken Rice Paradise

We promise this will be the last Nguyen Tri Phuong-based Hẻm Gem…for now.

Khoi Pham

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Hẻm Gems: Conquering the Giant Bánh Canh Ghẹ Muối Ớt Xanh of D10

My uncle used to say that you haven't had real crab until you have to cook and dismantle one. For this week’s Hẻm Gem, Saigoneer takes you on a trip to do just that, relishing real crabs by break...

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Hẻm Gems: Saigon's Original Bò 7 Món

Going to dinner at Au Pagolac is like going to dinner with family. That is, of course, provided your family spans several generations and also serves its meals in crisp, white button-ups and the occas...

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Hẻm Gems: A Cuppa in Saigon's Oldest Cafe

One of the first things Co Suong does when we sit down in the back of her tiny District 3 cafe is bring out the newspaper clippings.

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Hẻm Gems: Getting Lost in D3’s Soup Bermuda Triangle

During a busy Thursday lunch hour, my coworker and I commit a soup drive-by.

Khoi Pham

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Hẻm Gems: Ky Dong's 40-Year-Old Phở Gà Oasis

If you’re ever lost in District 3, Ky Dong’s famous phở gà place will be the oasis you need in those trying times.

Khoi Pham

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Hẻm Gems: Lão Hương Thân, One of Saigon's Oldest Cơm Gà Xối Mỡ Restaurants

Is there anything quite as glorious as beautifully done fried chicken?

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Hẻm Gems: Bún Sứa Serves Up a Jellyfish Medley Without the Sting

The menu at Bun Sua Co Hanh is geared towards diners with a hankering for seafood, and not just your regular fish and company. They serve something out of the ordinary at this slightly drab river...

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Hẻm Gems: Slurping Mì Ốc Hến in District 4 With Công 'the Enforcer'

Shuffling along in flip-flops and a pair of baggy shorts, Công the Enforcer arrives at our table.