Eat to your heart’s content at Market 39 (InterContinental Asiana Saigon)
There’s something magical about the phrase ‘all-you-can-eat buffet’. Even the most sedate individuals display the sort of exuberance reserved for the proverbial kid in a candy store. I light up with joy at the prospect of piling my favorite foods on a plate as high as I can knowing I get to do it as many times as my belly will allow.
Here in Ho Chi Minh City the all-you-can eat option is normally reserved for Sunday brunch and a few eateries that focus their menus on those willing to be gluttonous. Market 39 (InterContinental Asiana Saigon, cnr of Hai Ba Trung & Le Duan) is well-known for its Sunday brunch but what many may not be aware of is that it offers the same all-youcan-eat buffet weekdays – but with a twist.
Every day boasts a new theme with a bevy of thematic culinary delights that accompany the standards and favorites to tickle the taste buds. Living in Vietnam poses a challenge for a serious cheese lover like me, so I opted to review Market 39 on a Monday when its specialty is international cheeses and charcuterie. An assortment of delectable cheeses of all types and nationalities sprawls out over wooden cutting boards awaiting the cheese knife. I found all the usual suspects – brie, camembert, Swiss, gouda, cheddar, smoked cheeses, hard cheeses, soft cheeses, and all in endless supply to satisfy even the most ravenous turophile.
The fun doesn’t stop there, however. Before digging in I was compelled to saunter over to the day’s co-headliner, charcuterie. Sliced mortadella, salami, saucisson, chorizo, ham, and other mouth-watering meats lured me with their salted, cured siren’s song. Once again, this table has no limit, and I ate to my gastronomic delight.
Of course, there were a slew of other tastes and aromas waiting once I moved past the cheese and charcuturie. I stopped by the sushi station where tuna, salmon, and a variety of rolls were on display. Just a wasabi ball’s throw from there was a cold bar where salads and oysters on the half shell sat, chilling on ice beds. However, by this point I was in the mood for some hot food.
The smell of grilled meats and fish wafted through the air and lit up my senses as white clad grill men ply their skills with an array of chicken, beef, pork, and fish including octopi and squid. For those desiring heartier fare, the hot food station offers dishes that will stick to your ribs, like boeuf bourguignon. There are also stations for Asian favorites including huge pots of steaming soups and noodles. And for the most insatiable among us, the dessert bar plays host to sinful delights including an assortment of cheesecakes, flans, ice cream, and a pistachio chocolate mousse that was so creamy I experienced a moment of Zen.
Delivering top tier quality and service for value is what made Market 39 popular as a Sunday morning destination. They have combined that ethos with the promise of variety throughout the week.
Prices are VND840,000++ from Monday to Thursday, and VND950,000++ from Friday to Sunday. Daily themes are: Monday – International cheeses and charcuterie, Tuesday – Churasscuria, Wednesday – Mexican Fiesta, Thursday – Sushi and sashimi, Friday – Select cuts of meat from around the world, Saturday & Sunday – Seafood medley