Not all burgers are created equally

Considering the fierce competition found in Saigon when it comes to burgers, Relish & Sons (44 Dong Du, D1) tries and succeeds at being a hip burger joint attracting a wide array of clientele from young, modern Vietnamese to homesick expats in need of a break from the local cuisine. The décor boasts a clean and modern interior, mixing whites, browns and blacks accented with a dangerously clever wall of real knives – adding a bit of edge to the overall surrounds. However, the talking centerpiece soon faded into the background when I bit into their mouthwatering Blue Vein burger (VND170,000). This was no ordinary burger; this was a masterpiece consisting of perfectly-cooked medium rare beef patty together with blue cheese, caramelized onions and, of course, the relish of your choice. The combination of sweet and savory resulting from our choice of sweet chutney relish with the blue cheese and juicy patty was succulent. Accompanied by a glass of Weston English Cider draught (VND100,000), it was an all around amazing comfort lunch.

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We also had to order one of the most talked about burgers on the menu, as well as one of the most revolutionary, the Pho Burger (VND190,000 for the combo meal). The chef has taken a bowl of pho, compressed it while keeping true to its original parts, into a hamburger. With buns comprised of a woven nest of grilled noodles, it features a thin layer of shredded beef, a fried egg and all the toppings that accompany a traditional pho bo: mint leaves, lettuce, chili sauce and, of course, a little cup of soup broth to complement the burger. It truly tastes like a bowl of pho bo. This creation will leave every pho bo seller shaking their head and every culinary adventurer relishing in wonder. It was done well and with a great amount of class. I recommend having it with a glass of fresh draught beer (VND95,000) from Pasteur Street Brewery available on tap.

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All burgers and sandwiches can be ordered with one of the restaurant’s namesake relishes — made on the spot and wildly creative, the list includes tomato chili, pineapple and chili chutney, bourbon onion, red wine shallot, rosemary and garlic aioli, and spicy BBQ. We tried the pineapple and chilli chutney on the Blue Vein adding a sweet yet acidic taste to the meaty, cheesy decadence, and we chose the rosemary and garlic aioli which not only served as a delicious layer for the burger, but was also a great dipping sauce for the onion rings.

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For a healthy kick we ordered the Bulgur salad (VND100,000), a great culinary mix of both sides of the Mediterranean with apple slices and feta cheese tossed with bulgur wheat and chickpeas in a citrus-sweet dressing – a light and tasty side note to our burgers.

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To satiate our sweet tooth we ordered the Cheesecake with passionfruit (VND85,000), a creamy and airy dessert with a wonderfully tangy aftertaste from the passionfruit and a fitting grand finale for a rich and flavor-packed lunch.

Relish & Sons offers a great combo meal that’s hard to beat, for VND190,000 choose any sandwich or burger, choice of french fries or onion rings (I recommend the latter) and a drink (draught beer and cider included).Oi Vietnam-Dec2015_RELISH & SON__DSC3689_Ngoc Tran (OiVietNam_3N)

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Images By Ngoc Tran