After exploring the Museum of Ho Chi Minh City, we checked into our hotel Tan My Dinh and spent some time resting in our room. The girls – Sarah and Meijuan – then went out for late afternoon dim sum and a manicure+pedicure while I stayed behind in the room to do work.
For dinner on our first night at Ho Chi Minh City, my Singaporean friend Shaun came and brought us to Nhà Hàng Ngon, a must-try Vietnamese restaurant.
It boasts modern looks and if you ignore the horrible traffic and semi-poor street conditions outside, this place does not seem like it is from Ho Chi Minh City. They have outlets in Hanoi and Phnom Penh too.
That’s the three of us at the entrance – the restaurant is HUGE with a courtyard, backyard, balcony, double storeys and it was completely full!
Stepping into the house from the courtyard, a beautiful centrepiece awaits.
If your seat happens to be on the ground floor, please make the effort to go to the second floor for a little tour after you’re done with your meal. The walk will aid in digestion after all the hearty food, trust me.
View of centrepiece from second floor:
The dining concept of the restaurant is quite unique – there are food stations all around the perimeter of the first floor, including the courtyard, and it reminded me of Marche. You are free to go to the food stations and order or you can just order what you want from the menu and the servers will go to the food stations to get the food for you.
Shaun spent two years in Ho Chi Minh City so he definitely knows the food better than we do, so we left him to make the recommendations and order the food for us. Pardon me – I was too hungry and excited to try the food so I didn’t get the names of the dishes. Shaun himself doesn’t remember what the names of the dishes are – he just remembers where in the menu they are so he can point them out to the waiter!
Here are some of the food we tried that night:
Some chicken and vegetable salad
This reminds me of a crepe! It’s a famous local delight and you’ll find it at almost every Vietnamese restaurant.
Mini mussels that you scoop up using the sesame crackers
Vietnamese fried rice
Barbequed chicken and beef (similar to Japanese yakitori)
Sweet curry that wasn’t too spicy! (I can’t take chilli so for me to be able to take this means it isn’t very spicy, oops)
We were so stuffed by the end of the meal but look at our happy faces!
It was Saturday night, which means party night, so the girls wanted to go and check out clubs like Apocalypse Bar and Lush and Lavish, but it was only 930pm when we were done with dinner. Apparently the night only starts at around 11pm so we went back to the hotel room first.
Guess what? Both of them fell asleep while I bashed away on my laptop writing an article.
They woke up past midnight and I was already asleep by then, so they headed out to Apocalypse Bar without me. It was supposedly tourist/expat galore and a total ‘pick up’ place!
Our trip got better and better so do follow my posts on my Ho Chi Minh City trip with the girlfriends!