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saigon

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My list
Please help me eliminate, as it is our first time in Vietnam, and these are just suggested restaurants which seemed to be recommended by more than one person:

Temple Club
Ngons Nu Vien
Nguyen Du
Nam Phan
Vuon Pho
Square
Nam Bo
Nam Giao
Com Nieu Sa.Gon

Would love to have some input?
We will be in Saigon for one week, and would appreciate feedback.
Going with a husband who will not eat streetfood, and yes I am aware that that is where some of the best food is to be had, but..after being married more years than most of your ages, I will go along with it, and cheat for lunch.
Thanks

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  1. Definitely visit Ngon.

    Other places to consider:

    Pho 24
    Pho Cao Van
    Cha Ca La Vuong
    Quan 94

    1. Went to Ngon, and was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food.
      I had heard that it is a must "see", but good not special food.
      We were fortunate, as we we were seated in their air conditioned area.
      This consists of a large hose blowing cold steam from above.
      It was delighful.
      We had the shrimp on sugarcane, which was served with herbs rice wrappers and vermicelli.
      We made our own rolls. eally really good!
      Shrimp steamed in coconut milk served with a light spice sauce and a salt-pepper lime dip.
      This is the best dish we have eaten in Saigon.
      Very good and sweet steamed clams.
      Sticky rice.
      Stir fried mixed vegetables, very tasty
      We ended with disaster for us but great for some.
      I prefer a clear pho, but we experimented and ordered (Bun Mam)
      I think I spelled it correctly, but am not sure.
      Anyway this is a favourite of many, but we didn't care for the shrimp paste thick soup.
      Our bill including two beers was under $15.
      Great fun place.
      Loved watching the various vendors working inside.
      The place itself is very attractive.
      Might go back.
      Last night we ate at the Hue restaurant Ngu Vien, which has had the best reviews everywhere. Also very inexpensive.
      They are famous for their rice in Lotus leaf steamed in coconut milk with bits of things inside.
      It was a yawn.
      Reminded me of Canadian fried rice, but not as tasty.
      The rest of the food was good, but not as good by far as Ngon.
      Although not really hungry for lunch, are trying pho 24, and will report back.
      Of the threee restaurants you suggested, which is the absolute best, regardless of price?
      Thanks

      1. Looking forward to the report on Pho 24. Seek out Cha Ca La Vuong. I ate at the original in Hanoi and it was terrific. It has been around for over 100 years. According the the gentleman who writes the Noodlepie.com blog, the Saigon branch is even better. If this is true it must be really something special. Check out Noodlepie.com for further information. Would love to hear about Anthony Bourdain's favorite restaruant Com Nieu SaGon.

        1. Well,
          had lunch at pho 24 and the pho was delicious.
          We had the everything Pho.
          Rich stock, and everything tender.
          The biggest difference for me was the soft yet firm texture of the noodles.
          Much better than at home.
          The chili dip was just right, and not fiery.
          The thick soy based dip was also a winner.
          For heat they has green and red chillies.
          Lots of scallions, basil beansprouts and saw.

          Last night we ate at Bourdain's favourite Com Nieu DaGon.
          Ordered the banana blossom salad.
          It was just ok. and the chicken was very tough.
          Not a winner.
          The clams were devine, and stir fried with scallions.
          Surprisingly shelled, and plentiful.
          Had the soft shell clams fried, and we had the (can't remember if they called them swimming or running crabs) as they have several kinds.
          This dish was perfect.Sprinkled with chili pepper and herbs.
          Hubbie cleaned every crumb from the plate. Best soft shells we have ever eaten, and generous portion. Served with the wonderful salt pepper lime.
          The clay pot rice tossed around the room was a nice gimmicky touch, but nothing special.
          We finished our meal with two giant prawns, in fact the largest I have ever seen.
          They were good, but not special. No comparison to Somboon in Bangkok for flavour.
          We didn't like the ambience, as staff were disinterested, and not very smiley.
          It is worth the trip for the crab and clams, as they were standout dishes.
          I guess they save their smiles for Bourdain.
          Having said that they went out of their way to get a cab for us as the area is fairly dark.
          Possibly will try Cha Cha to-night
          Thanks

          1 Reply
          1. re: erly

            Excellent report on Pho 24 and glad you enjoyed it. Hope you have time to visit Cha Ca La Vong. Since you love crab so much you might want to seek out Quan 94, they specialize in crab items. Address 94 Dinh Tien Hoang Street (District 1). Keep the reports flowing, I'm jealous here in New York City.

          2. sorry typo that was soft shelled crab