Friends and Food

Friends and Food Great coffee, great food and great live music—Lêla Saigon has something for everyone The Vietnamese expression “lê la” is best translated “to go somewhere and hang out with friends.” But for its new namesake in the heart of Pham Ngu Lao in District 1, a more apt description might be “something for

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Fit for a King

Yu Chu gives comfort Cantonese cuisine a royal makeover Chances are that if you’ve had Chinese food outside of China, it’s been a version of Cantonese cuisine. In the 1800s, a large number of mainly Cantonese immigrants journeyed overseas to work on the railroads in America or to follow the gold rush in Australia. They brought with them their cuisine which combined with local ingredients

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Hoi An on a Plate

Spice Viet Restaurant serves up lighter, fresher fare One of the joys of Hoi An is uncovering its surprisingly robust culinary scene. While part of the foodie experience is wandering down alleyways in search of a single-dish food stand that may or may not be open or even uncovering your own hole-in-the-wall find, sometimes you just want to enjoy it all with minimum

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Anything But Simple

Located on one of Saigon’s most coveted downtown streets, a new bistro pairs romance with fusion fare The Little DOOR Bistro (49 Ton That Thiep, D1, www.facebook.com/thelittledoorbymrsimple) welcomes diners with a soft, warm glow from inside. Stark white tables illuminated by vintage bulbs, a sleek espresso bar and a display of delicate baked goods greet us

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Juicy Grilled Glory

Meat-lovers will not want to miss the beer and barbecue at The Rooftop BBQ in District 1 Opened in June, what sets The Rooftop BBQ (2nd floor of M Plaza at 39 Le Duan, D1; www.facebook.com/therooftopbbq or therooftopbbq.com) apart, an open-air restaurant, are a few distinct features. First, unlike other BBQ places where you cook

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Rediscover A Classic

A long-time favorite, Xu is still going strong with its ambitious, mostly assured nouvelle Vietnamese cooking Xu Restaurant Lounge (71-75 Hai Ba Trung, D1) is in the heart of the upscale area of District 1. Xu is trendy and a place filled to the brim with the hopes that something story-worthy will happen that night—similar

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Garden Of The Senses

From Montpellier to Saigon, the three-Michelin starred Pourcel brothers have recreated their famed fine dining experience at Jardin Des Sens Saigon Within a 100-year-old French colonial villa, on the corner of Dien Bien Phu and Le Quy Don, is the latest gastronomic venture of twin brothers Jacques and Laurent Pourcel, bringing Vietnam its first fine

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Dinnertime Interlude

Italian fine dining with a touch of romance at Romeo & Juliet’s Tucked away in the basement of The Reverie Saigon is one of the best fine dining experiences in Ho Chi Minh City. The R&J Italian Lounge & Restaurant (B1 & Ground Level | Times Square Building, Enter via The Long @ Times Square, 22-36 Nguyen Hue, D1 & 57-69F Dong Khoi,

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Chef’s Choice

Kasen offers a more traditional Japanese dining experience through an omakase, hinged on warm rice and pristine fish Those who are already taken with Japanese cuisine will find plenty to be impressed with at Kasen (101 Le Thi Rieng, D1), a new venue serving up a contemporary sushi you will rarely see in Saigon. Kasen’s menu offers next-generation sushi, a pared-back, subtler form of the popular dish

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San Diego Meets Saigon

The marriage of Southern California and Vietnamese cuisines for a fresh and bold take on fusion Already having cemented it’s reputation for their incredible selection of craft beers, however, East West Brewing Company’s (181–185 Ly Tu Trong, D1) food is not to be overlooked. We visited the huge industrial chic space that manages to avoid hipster territory with an upbeat

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