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Apr 19, 2001 12:57 AM

Eating with the locals in Sai Gon......BIA HOI

  • j

It's great to see that there are people out there who share a love of Vietnamese food.
I'm an Australian who has been living in Vietnam for the last year,and who is a lover of all things Vietnamese.
Some the best and cheapest Vietnamese foods can be found in small local retaurants[quan].Many of these places are located on busy streets in the centre of Saigon.During the day the people who own these places often fix motorbikes or other types of machinery,but come sundown they transform into atmopheric street restaurants complete tiny red and blue plastic chairs and traditonal Vietnamese folk music.
The easiest way to find these restaurants is to look for sings that read...BIA HOI or BIA TUOI[draft beer].It is fair to say that most Vietnamese come solely for the cheap beer[about 5000VND or $0.30 per litre],but the food served at here is some of the best.
Dishes range from simple tapas styles; corn stir-fried with baby shrimp[bap xao tom],green mango salad[goi xoai] and quail roasted in tamarind[chim cut rang me] to more elaborate meals such as; blue swimmer crabs steammed with ginger and shallots[cua hap gung va hanh], beef cured in lime juice with peanuts, star fruit and banana flower[bo bop thau] and of course Vietnamese style hot pots[lau].
Look along Nguyen Thai Hoc St,for some of the best eating experiences in Saigon especially around No.126,and be sure to try VU DE NUONG.
The food and beer are cheap the people are friendly,and you will be surrounded by many friendly Vietnamese people,all who are looking for the same thing as you.....a simple relaxed atmosphere to enjoy good food and beer with friends.

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