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Oct 19, 2006 11:26 PM

Vietnamese Lemonade?

On some days, only an icy Vietnamese lemonade truly hits the spot. However, it's difficult to find an excellent version with the right balance of sweet and tart. I'm stuck hanging around the financial district for an appointment after work and would love a good lemonade. Any recommendations in the FiDi/Chinatown area?

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  1. Have you tried Sai's? I don't know if the lemonade's good but some of their stuff is.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Thanks for the rec--I ended up going to Sai's before reading your post. The lemonade was very good (crushed ice!) and the chicken curry soup was even better (though my favorite version is still at Yummy Yummy on Irving).

    2. Pardon my ignorance, but what distinguishes viet lemonade from "regular" lemonade?

      6 Replies
        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Huh, for some reason I associate lemon, salt, and soda water as Vietnamese lemonade. Maybe it is a different drink entirely but it's the only Viet lemon drink I have had. Hung Ky and Will's are very good versions.

          1. re: chaddict

            You're right, I was thinking of something else. The Vietnamese drink's usually lime rather than lemon, no?

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                I've had "soda chanh" w/ both lemon or lime. I prefer lime, and my favorite is at Vung Tau in San Jose (sorry, don't have recs for SF). Lime juice tastes really fresh, sugar is incorporated well (perhaps simple syrup), and the soda water has very fine, silky bubbles.

              2. re: chaddict

                Although it doesn't help here, the best Vietnamese lemonade I've tried has been at Bui on Solano in Berkeley.

          2. For what it's worth, I love the lemonade at Slanted/Out the Door.

            1. is one able to buy a bottled version of this stuff? would be nice to have avail in my fridge.

              maybe order a gallon?

              1. Okay...just to clarify....Vietnamese "lemonade" is often made with limes, has sugar.. SALT! and soda it is in effect a salty lemon/lime soda?
                I think I would prefer Roberts' version with mint, sugar, lemons... and saltless..

                2 Replies
                1. re: ChowFun_derek

                  There are 3 different vietnamese lemonade versions:
                  -Soda chanh=lime with soda and sugar
                  -Soda chanh muoi= salted/brined lime with soda and sugar
                  -Da chanh=lime with ice, sugar and water

                  Many restaurants in the US use lemons now since it's more available but there's no lemons in vietnam as I know it. Also, in the authentic version, no mint is added. You can buy the salted/brined limes at Ranch 99.

                  Soda xi muoi (soda with salted plum which had been rehydrated with hot water, sugar and ice) is a different animal altogether.