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Khoi Pham

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Hẻm Gems: Can Deep-Fried Hột Vịt Lộn Dethrone the Classic?

Has your luck taken a turn for the worse lately? Perhaps it’s high-time for a hột vịt lộn (or three) to reverse your fortune.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

In Search of Charming Cafes Along Saigon's Train Alleys

Compared to Hanoi’s now-restricted Phung Hung “Train Street,” the neighborhoods bordering the railway in Saigon have neither the romanticism nor goosebumps-inducing adrenaline rush that turned the for...

Khoi Pham

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Lower Your Voice, the Hidden Elephant Is Reading

In Saigon’s indie cafe scene, there are household names and well-kept secrets; and then there are secrets that one might think are well-kept, but are actually household names. 

Michael Tatarski

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Hẻm Gems: In Praise of D1's Cheap, Dependable Sidewalk Cơm Trưa

In these trying times, the comfort of familiarity goes a long way.

Michael Tatarski

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Handmade Noodles Hidden Amid the Mayhem of Hang Xanh

The traffic-choked wastelands of Hang Xanh are one of the last places you'd expect to find an incredible meal of noodles.

Khoi Pham

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: The Refreshing Simplicity of Veggies, Roots and Mushrooms

Explaining the food at Rau Củ Nấm Vegan Restaurant is simple; it’s all in the name: vegetables, tubers, and mushrooms.

Michael Tatarski

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Piquant Thai Noodles in D7 for the Age of Takeout

It's the simple things in life that sometimes bring the greatest pleasure.

Thi Nguyen

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: At Sadec Quan, a Celebration of Mekong Delta Noodles

While bánh tằm is more often regarded as a popular street food dish in the Mekong Delta, my entrance to the world of this dish was family gatherings in Saigon.

Khoi Pham

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: In Saigon's Greenest Cafe, a Rabbit, Cotton and Succulents Galore

On a windy autumn day of 2019, I did what any existentially precarious millennial would eventually do some time in their 20s: I bought a houseplant.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Pho Chay Nhu and 35 Years of Serving Tasty Vegetarian Meals

A bowl full of noodles is one of the things that make me feel lucky to be alive, and alive in Saigon in particular.

Michael Tatarski

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: A Japanese Bánh Mì to Win Over Fusion Food Skeptics

When it comes to discussions of cuisine, I'd argue that "authentic" is the most overused word in writing and marketing, followed closely by "fusion."

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: In D7, 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.

Khoi Pham

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: At a Corner of Nguyen Van Linh, Saigon's Best Korean Cold Noodles

Much like a stereotypical meet-cute in a romantic comedy, the majority of my most memorable food experiences often involve a faux pas of varying degrees of humiliation.

Michael Tatarski

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Hẻm Gems: The Porcine Pleasure of a D2 Cơm Tấm Outpost

What comes to mind when you hear the words 'District 2'?

Thi Nguyen

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gem: Bún Cá Sứa With a Stock That Tastes Like the Ocean

A friend once told me that Saigon is a place that makes you feel like you can travel anywhere.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Year in Review: Saigoneer's Picks for Best Hẻm Gems of 2019

In 2019, Saigoneer reviewed a total of 38 Hẻm Gems, including 10 bars or cafes, 15 Vietnamese eateries and 13 places serving delicious non-Vietnamese cuisines.

Thi Nguyen

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: A Secret Back-Alley Bún Ngan, Hidden in Plain Sight

Several months ago, the Saigoneer team went to 89 Nguyen Du for a Hẻm Gem on Ngo 89’s Hanoian snacks. Little did I know, we’d be going to the same location for an entirely different eatery later on.

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Hẻm Gems: Home-Cooked Taiwanese Comfort Food for a Cold Saigon Day

District 5, Saigon’s Chinatown, is full of delicious eateries serving Cantonese food. For something new, try Va Thanh, an unassuming restaurant with top-notch Taiwanese home-style cooking.

Khoi Pham

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Saigon Retro Cafe Has Just the Right Amount of Sentimentality

It’s a teensy bit weird to say that my new favorite hangout is above a VinMart.

Thi Nguyen

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Krua Thai's Raw Seafood Salad Is Not for the Faint-Hearted

The first role I ever took in my home kitchen was to prepare sweet fish sauce with chili and garlic to pour over rice and noodles. As simple as this may sound, I still can’t master the art after years...