Food · Ho Chi Minh City

Sushi & Sashimi – Takashimaya Saigon Center

Have you heard about the sushi place in Takashimaya with no seating but has a good sushi? If you visited Saigon Center Mall on basement floor, you would probably see people standing eating sushi. And maybe even wonder why would they do that. Does the sushi come from Annam Store there? Nope. I finally found the place (which actually is not hard to find…)

The place called Sushi and Sashimi. Very clear about what they are selling! The shop is not big but it has several cooler storage for the sushi. The variant of sushi and sashimi also very good. They will let you know if they have a fresh fish shipped for the day. They also have promotion on certain items. My favorite is unadon (grilled eel on top of rice). On promotion day, it costs me 99k vnd. and normal price is 129k.

Their sushi is really fresh and yummy, also affordable price. No wonder a Japanese friend was recommended this place to me. They don’t have any seating, so you have to find a place to eat after you pay. Or you can do it like me, take it home 🙂

Have you tried it as well? What do you think of this place? Let me know in comment below.


Food · Ho Chi Minh City · Vietnam

Hong Hai Restaurant – Seafood Restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City

One of the famous type of dish in Ho Chi Minh is seafood. Almost in every corner of this city has a seafood restaurant. Hong Hai Restaurant is one of the big seafood restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City. It is located at 236 Pasteur Street, District 3, HCMC. I have been here 2 times, both with my guests. It is always better to go to seafood restaurant with 3 or more people. More food to try 😀

This restaurant also have non-seafood dishes; beef, chicken, pork, noodle, eel, poridge, and rice. So don’t worry if one of your companion can’t eat seafood, he / she still can enjoy other food. They have many kind of snails and clams, cooked in many ways. Their menu has English translation as well, so it’s very easy to order. Some of the dishes also have picture on the menu. I will share with you all of the food I ordered here.

Blood Cockle stir-fried with crispy fried garlic topped with laska leaves
Blood Cockle stir-fried with crispy fried garlic topped with laska leaves (79.000 vnd)

This one is delicious. The blood cockles are bigger than the one I ate before in other restaurant. What is better than a garlicky food with juicy blood cockle?! Many lol, but this one is not to be missed out.

Medium-sized Escargot grilled with black pepper
Medium-sized Escargot grilled with black pepper (58.000 vnd)

This one doesn’t look special, does it? But trust me, you HAVE TO order this one. Made you want to eat more and more. The escargot is well-done and a perfect seasoning. I ordered this on both my visits there xD

Giant River Prawn wokked with crystal salt and chili
Giant River Prawn wokked with crystal salt and chili (seasonal price)

This one has a seasonal price, so you better check it first before make the order. We didn’t check it and was very surprised with the price but no complaint. Because it’s good. This prawn is very delicious, with a pinch of crystal salt and chili. I can’t stand the chili though, too spicy for me. Normally I don’t eat prawn because I don’t really like their taste, but for this one I have no problem.

Grilled squid with salt & chili (135.000 vnd)
Grilled squid with salt & chili (135.000 vnd)

Another one I recommend is this squid. They cooked it in time so the squid still soft and not chewy. The seasoning also done well. If I didn’t worry about my cholesterol level I would ate this more 😦 Soooo finger-licking good!

Fresh chilled oyster accompanied with sliced lime
Fresh chilled oyster accompanied with sliced lime (35.000 vnd)

Vietnamese people likes grilled oyster with cheese. I saw many table ordered that dish. On my 2nd visit here, my guest ordered it as well but I didn’t. I prefer fresh oyster, and since it’s cheap here so I ordered it. But I should have known that the price never lie. This oyster is not fresh but was frozen before. I won’t recommend this to anyone.

Scallop grilled with garlic & butter
Scallop grilled with garlic & butter (77.000 vnd)

This one is an okay dish. They cooked this too long so the meat is a little dry. That’s too bad though, because the flavor of garlic and butter in this dish is really good. Nothing special I can say about this menu.

Vietnamese Horn Shell stir-fried with house special fresh coconut milk
Vietnamese Horn Shell stir-fried with house special fresh coconut milk (60.000 vnd)

This horn shell only have 1 type of cooking, that is with coconut milk. I don’t know why but in other restaurant I’ve tried only have cooked with coconut milk as well. I like this dish, it has a creamy and soft texture.

Areola Babylon steamed with ginger & lemongrass
Areola Babylon steamed with ginger & lemongrass (seasonal price)

I don’t like this one, the taste was very plain. The snails were chewy. I don’t mind with chewy snail as long as it has flavor, but not this one. So no, I’m not gonna order this one again in the future. Also, this snail has seasonal price. Need to check before order. There are other type of cooking for this snail : grilled, stir-fried with Vietnamese cheese, and stir-fried with fresh pineapple.

Here in Ho Chi Minh City people likes to order seafood with fried rice. But they don’t eat it together. They usually finish off all seafood then start eating fried rice. I heard from a friend of a friend that they have a good seafood fried rice, so we ordered that on our second visit. It was as I thought, they served us all of our seafood order first, then lastly they served fried rice. The problem was they served it very late for us. We were waiting for more than 15 minutes and it didn’t come out, while other table was getting their fried rice. Maybe there was misunderstanding happened. The waitress told us to wait for 5 minutes, but after 5 minutes nothing served on our table. I was a little annoyed and intended to cancel our order for fried rice but they didn’t allow it. That made me even more annoyed. In the end we asked them to wrap it for take away.

For the drink, local people normally drink beer when eating seafood. In case you don’t like beer or just don’t want to drink beer, you have to try their coconut. It was really refreshing! I like it very much.

According to my friend (a Vietnamese , most of the people in Ho Chi Minh City prefer to go to the beach when they want to eat seafood, because it’s really fresh. But when I told them about Hong Hai Restaurant they were agreed as well about the quality of food there. Their price is not expensive for a restaurant with that scale.

Hong hai restaurant
Hong hai restaurant

In conclusion, if you want to try Hong Hai I would recommend Blood Cockle stir-fried with crispy fried garlic topped with laska leaves, Medium-sized Escargot grilled with black pepper, and Grilled squid with salt & chili. Take a note that their service is bad when they are busy. For more information, please check their website.

Food · Ho Chi Minh City · Vietnam

Quan Oc Khanh – again ;)

Last weekend I went to Quan Oc Khanh again for dinner. This time I went with my husband because he never tried this one. At first I wanted to try the one he ate before, but it’s in district 10. Too far (read : too lazy).

We ordered 5 dishes this time, and tried some other menu. The first menu I recommended was the blood clam with garlic. I didn’t take picture of that dish, but you can see it on this link.

Here are the list of other menu we ordered (I forgot to take note of their name again -__-) :

quan oc khanh sea snail with butter

Some kind of sea-snails cooked in butter. Eat this with banh mi. Soooo good! A bit spicy though.

quan oc khanh oyster with garlic and butter

Oyster! This time I ordered oyster with garlic and butter. Delicious! Fresh oyster, very juicy.

quan oc khanh finger clam garlic

Finger clams cooked with garlic. I’ve wanted to try this since my visit to Barcelona. I didn’t order it at that time and I was still curious. My husband saw this one Quan Oc Khanh menu and he suggested me to order. It was a right decision! This clam is good. Especially when you eat with those fried garlic.. yummy~!

quan oc khanh clam with peanut and onion

Last time I ordered this one with cheese. This time I tried the one with peanut and spring onions. It was good, surprisingly. Clams and peanuts… I never imagined this combination but apparently it works.

For all those plus 2 banh mi and 3 sapporo beer, we had to pay for 450.000 vnd (About USD 20). I can’t get enough of snails and clams. My mouth still wanted more, but my stomach said it’s enough xD This restaurant is very recommended!

Food · Ho Chi Minh City · Vietnam

Quan Oc Khanh – Seafood Restaurant in HCMC

Who likes to eat snails and shellfish? I DO! I’m a big fan 😀 I love escargots, mussels, and other shellfish. In Vietnam, they have different style of cooking for snails and shellfishes. There are many seafood restaurants here, but I’ve just tried one of them. It’s Quan Oc Khanh. Located in a small alley in district 1, or to be exact in 25/5 Nguyen Binh Khiem, Ho Chi Minh City.

I’ve been here 2 times. I know this place from my language teacher in VLS. She also loves to eat 😀 First visit was at dinner time several weeks ago, and the second one was yesterday at lunch. Amazingly, this place always busy when we came. They are open from 11.30 am til 10.00 pm everyday. It’s a very local place, with small table and small chairs. I like it though.

Their menu has pictures, so you can see which kind of snail, shellfish, or other seafood you want to order. There are some pictures on the wall as well to help you order the food.

They serve the food with banh mi (or vietnamese bread). If you want to have banh mi, you need to order it first. And if you don’t eat it, they still charge you based on the order. For example, we ordered 3 banh mi last time, but ended up only ate 1 banh mi. And they charged us for 3 banh mi. So for banh mi, you pay what you order, even though you can’t finish it.

These are what we ordered yesterday. I forgot to take note of their names T.T

oc khanh

This one is cooked with garlic and onion. Really good! My friend told me that this clam when you eat it raw, it tastes like blood.

oc khanh

This one is another type of clam, grilled with cheese (or pho mai in Vietnamese). Eat it while hot/warm. I like the clam but I think it would be better if it cooked with onion or garlic.

oc khanh

This one scallop with cheese. The scallop is really juicy! Yummy~ My friend likes to eat cheese, so she ordered cheese as well for this one lol…

oc khanh

This one is some kind of sea snails, cooked in butter. It’s a bit spicy for me. One thing to be noted is the butter has sweet flavor, not the salty one.

oc khanh

Last one is this. I saw the picture on their wall, and I’ve been wanting to tried this kind of snails. This one cooked with coconut milk. Yummy~

For all of those and 3 banh mi + 3 ice tea, we paid for 377.000 vnd (about 17 usd).

Next time I will try another type of cooking and another type of seafood 😀 And of course I want to try other restaurant as well 😉