Pho Ba La, HCMC

This Pho eatery, along the Bui Vien backpackers stretch, used to be called Pho Vin, but the now it is Pho Ba La. It serves a few versions of Pho, all using different cuts of beef. You can also decide on the portion size you require. We ordered one Pho Tai Nam (Rare – Flank) and one Pho Gau Gan (Brisket – Soft Tendon). Both were delicious. Compared to Pho Thanh Canh, this eatery is probably more catered to the tourist pallette, and also has a wider variety of drinks on offer. All in all, it is a great place to hang out and chill!

Summary:

Pho Tai Nam (Normal Size) VND55,000 – Rating 7/10

Pho Gau Gan (Normal Size) VND55,000 – Rating 8/10

Iced Milk Coffee VND18,000 – Rating 7/10

Passionfruit Juice VND20,000 – Rating 6/10

Overall Experience – 8/10

Cobalt Restaurant, Pullman Saigon City

This restaurant is on the 30th floor of the Pullman Saigon City, and it offers some spectacular unblocked views of Ho Chi Minh City. This is a classy restaurant, featuring a whole wall of wine displayed elegantly in a glass cabinet. The spread of food here, however, is disappointingly limited, without any local cuisine or even the standard western fish & chips or burgers. In the end, we settled for two pastas (there were only three pasta options) and a Lobster Bisque soup. The meal came with bread and spread as an appetizer, which was delicious. The soup was thick and tasty as well, with nice texture. The pastas were nice with generous portions of ingredients.

Summary:

Lobster Bisque with Beignets VND235,000 Rating 7/10

Spaghetti with Clams in White Wine Sauce VND315,000 Rating 8/10

Orrecchietti with Italian Sausage and Goat Cheese VND315,000 Rating 8/10

Total bill VND432,499 (After Accor Plus 50% off)

Pho Thanh Canh, HCMC

We were looking for a good Pho to undo the damage caused by last night’s disappointing visit to the Royal Saigon Restaurant. We decided to try out this humble looking Pho eatery just around the corner from Pullman Saigon Centre where we were putting up. This seemed like a place targeted more at locals rather than tourists and we felt that this would mean a more authentic Pho. We ordered the Pho Bo which came with all the standard vegetables and spices and it certainly didn’t disappoint. At least a million times better than the Pho last night! The soup was tasty from the spices and not artificially salted up. The bill came up to VND62,000 for one bowl of Pho Bo, which is on the pricy side, but at least it tasted nice! Rating – 8/10

Royal Saigon Restaurant, HCMC

We wanted to try this restaurant because of its high rating on Tripadvisor, and we braved the pouring rain to get to the restaurant for an early dinner at about 5pm. When we arrived, the restaurant was completely empty and we proceeded to a slightly bigger table with 4 seats. The male wait staff (who previously didn’t even bother showing us to our seats) came to us and now insisted that we take a smaller table with two seats. We complied, not wanted to be uncooperative. 
We then ordered our food and hoped for the best. Frankly, the food was rather disappointing, the platter and rolls we ordered were ordinary at best. Too dry, burnt at some parts and not enough herb taste. The Pho Bo was overly salty and ironically not sufficiently flavourful. The only saving grace was the Bun Thit Nuong, which was well done. 

Over all, we feel that this restaurant is rather overrated. You can get much better Vietnam food at the price you will be paying here. We left the restaurant full but unsatisfied, with a consensus that we won’t be coming back.

Summary:

“Welcome to Vietnam” Platter – Fried spring rolls with pork meat, fried wonton, grilled minced pork skewers, quail eggs coated with seafood and rice, shrimp wrapped in potato, fresh spring rolls with shrimp and pork. VND90,000 (5/10)

Bo la lot – Traditional minced beef-pork & betel leaf rolls VND50,000 (3/10)

Bun thit nuong – Rice noodles with pork, spring roll, fresh salad, cucumber, pickled carrots, peanuts and fish sauce dip VND65,000 (8/10)

Pho Bo – Beef noodle soup with fresh herbs VND50,000 (4/10)

1.5l Bottled Water VND30,000

Mumtaz Indian Restaurant, HCMC

After a six year absence, we are finally back in Ho Chi Minh City enjoying our favorite Indian restaurant Mumtaz along Bui Vien. This restaurant has been a must-try ever since our first visit years back and it brings back so many happy memories of our early years of travel as a married couple. The food is always of a high standard and the service excellent. 

For tonight’s meal, we ordered the Rogan Gosh, Bhindi Masala and Chicken Madrasi with a Garlic Naan and Butter Naan. The food was delicious, with generous portions of meat, cooked to perfection in terms of texture and taste! This place really lives up to its high ranking on Tripadvisor. 

Summary:

– Chicken Madrasi Curry

– Mutton Rogan Gosh Curry

– Bhindi Masala Curry (Lady’s Finger)

– Spices, Papadom, Ice Water

– Bill: VND317,000