Food · Travel

Places to Eat in London

As I visited London, I would need to find a good place to eat as well. You can read about places I visited in London here. I heard from my friends that the English food is not that good. So I had to find food from other countries there. The Indian food is famous in London and most of them are good according to my friend. I’m not a fan of Indian food but I guess I have to try it!

Here they are the places I visited for a meal in London :

1. Pod

When I just arrived in London, I was starving because I couldn’t eat on plane. I walked around from my hotel in Tower Hill area and found this place “Pod”. They have breakfast menu set with coffee. I tried Salmon Cream Cheese Bagel with coffee for £4.75. They were good. The bagel was authentic and I liked it. Salmon and Cream Cheese were awesome as well. Recommended for breakfast. Please note that they are closed on weekend and public holiday. They have some branches in London.

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Salmon Cream Cheese Bagel with coffee

2. Eat

This place is available almost on every corner in the city of London. They are selling salad, sandwich (cold) and other simple meal. I ate here for lunch and realized they also served warm meal… I hate cold meal but already bought it. Some of their shops are open since morning for breakfast. The meal that I bought was not great for me.. At least the meat tasted good and edible.

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Salad with couscous

3. Thai Square

Somehow I like Thai food since I tried it at Thai Street Saigon. For one of the dinner I went to Thai restaurant near my hotel. It is Thai Square. They have around 10 branches all over London. I tried the one at Minories street. I ordered pad si ew (fried flat noodle) and orange juice. Total bill was £14.29. Asian food is expensive in London!

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Pad Si Ew

The food was tasty although it was not as tasty as the on in Saigon 😀 The orange juice was a proper orange juice with no over-sweet taste. I saw a guy next to me have the chili and pickle seasoning set! So I asked for it from the waitress. They do have an authentic taste after all! I especially like their special chili sauce. They praised me for being able to eat that sauce, while in fact it was not spicy at all.. I can’t eat spicy food haha.

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Chili and Pickle

4. Borough Market

Good for breakfast and lunch. They have pretty much everything to cater one’s preferences. There are many vendors selling their stuff there and it was amazing. The taste mostly are delicious as well. I tried sausage butty (£3.5), Apple Juice (£1.5), Sausage bread (£1.5), Strawberry (£1.5), Pork Pie (£4.5) and Dolset Scallops (£6.5).

I loved them all! Sausage Butty is better with sauce (ketchup or chili). The apple juice was fresh and pure. Sausage bread was delicious, one of my favorite. Strawberries were sweet! They have 2 size of pack, we bought the bigger size and it was too much for 2 people haha. Pork pie was tasty as well. It was an award-winning pie. The skin was crunchy a bit and inside was minced pork meat. I couldn’t finish it alone. And lastly the dolset scallops! I saw some people eating it then I found the stall who sold it. The sign was saying “3 succulent ‘hand dived’ scallops served on a bed of stir fry and crispy bacon” How can I resist that! The scallops were big and juicy! Can’t have enough.. I wanted more.

5. Po Cha Korean Restaurant

I met with a friend who lives in England as well but not in London. We were looking for place to have lunch then my foursquare showed Po Cha as one of the best around the area of Waterloo. My friend is a fan of Korean food and she hasn’t eaten it since she moved back to England. We found the place and it looked authentic. There were some Korean customer as well. The place is small so we were lucky we came before lunch time. There were queue outside when we were waiting for our food.

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Kimchi Fried Rice

They have a good deal lunch menu set, only £6 for food and tea! I ordered Kimchi Fried Rice. Somehow I craved for kimchi that day haha. When it came, I was shocked. The portion was huge! I couldn’t finish it in the end, but it was really delicious. A little bit spicy, from the kimchi. My friend also liked her food. We wanted to try another dish but we were too full already 😦 I recommend this place for you who are looking for Korean food in London.

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Korean tea

I took picture of the tea brand as well because it was so good! I planned to buy it somewhere if I can find it! I looked at google and found the name. It was Dong Suh Brown Rice Green Tea. Time to visit the Korean supermarket nearby!

6. Monmouth Coffee 

Okay this one is not a place to eat 😀 My friend and I were walking around Covent Garden when she suddenly wanted some coffee for the afternoon. She found Monmouth Coffee on the internet. Number 4th coffee shop in London according to google. The shop in Covent Garden is very small and limited seat inside. Most of the people bought a take-away. We got place to sit after we ordered our drink. I got myself a cappucino for £3.1.

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Cappucino

I was worried a bit when I drank this coffee because usually I got upset stomach when I did. Surprisingly my stomach was fine! and the coffee also good. I guess this coffee was not as strong as Vietnamese Coffee (which always made me got upset stomach 😦 ).

They have another shops as well, and the one near Borough Market was very busy. Busier than this one.

7. Paul

To be honest, Paul was not my first choice when it comes to restaurant in London. Don’t get me wrong, I love Paul restaurant but there is one here in Saigon so I’d rather try another place to eat. Unfortunately that day every good restaurants that we wanted in Covent Garden was fully booked! We were in hurry to catch the train back for my friend, so we took whatever option we had. It was Paul 😀

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Mussels in white wine, garlic and cream

I ordered Mussels in white wine, garlic and cream. It was on ” for sharing” section of the menu, but I finished it all by myself. Yup! I love mussels ❤ It was a good choice for me for dinner! £11.90 in total. We didn’t order drink, only tap water. I haven’t eaten mussels for so long and this one didn’t fail me.

8. Tombo

If you are visiting Natural History Museum and are looking for a place to lunch, you can go to Tombo. They are serving Japanese food and all kind of matcha (green tea) drink. I love Japanese food so it was good that I found this place for lunch. Natural History Museum is a huge place, so you better fill up yourself before going in. I ordered Tonkatsu Curry Rice (£11.95) and houjicha matcha latte.

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Tonkatsu Curry Rice
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Houjicha Matcha Latte

The food was delicious. Their portion is small but it was enough for me (somehow). The pork was well cooked and tasty. I think they marinated it first. The houjicha matcha latter on the other one was disappointing. I could only taste the milk and very thin tea taste 😦

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Tombo Menu

Their price is a bit high, just like other Asian restaurant in London. But I saw many people coming in and even do delivery, so they must be reasonable price for Londoners.

9. Bodean’s BBQ

My husband wanted to eat meat dish before going out for the night. When I looked at foursquare (my favorite app), I found this Bodean’s BBQ and the review was good. And it was close to our hotel as well. Very convenient indeed. We tried to make a reservation before but apparently they only accept reservation for 8 or more people. Below 8 people need to walk-in to restaurant and see if they have space. It was quite early when we arrived so we got a seat.

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Bodean Root Beer

For the drink I ordered Jef Root Beer. It was okay but I prefer other brand. We ordered Beef Burger (£8.95) and Ribs and Pulled Pork Combo (£15.95) for shared.

I didn’t try the burger but according to my husband it was so-so. The ribs was good though. Very soft and it was marinated well. Pulled Pork also delicious. Total payment for two persons including service charge was £33.47.

10. Chotto Matte Bar

It was Friday Night and we went to Soho to have a drink with friends. After asking around several bars, we ended up at Chotto Matte. The others were fully booked! Soho on Friday night is impossible. This place serves foods and drinks, but we just wanted to have a drink. Everyone has had their dinner before coming.

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Flor The Manzana

I ordered Flor the Manzana (£11), which is a mix of mango vodka, honjozo sake, apple, lime, passionfruit. I loved it! Fruity. They have a huge variant of drinks. You can check the menu first on their website.

11. Caravan

I was walking with my husband along Thames river and it was lunch time. We tried to look for something different so we found this place which listed as tapas place. As we arrived there, we found out that this place is not selling tapas! They are the ‘all-day breakfast’ kind of restaurant. See their menu here.

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Grain pancake, vanilla ricotta cheese, pomegranate, walnut and mint

This grain pancake was huge and thick! It tasted surprisingly good though. I couldn’t finish it because of too full. My husband ordered slow roast pork belly with kimchi pancake, gochujang ketchup, and sunny duck egg. I loved this kimchi pancake! I tried it a little at first but then I was hooked. Wanted more and more. Very addictive!

There are 3 branches of Caravan. The one I tried was in Bankside. The other two are at King’s Cross and Exmouth Market. Check their website here.

12. On The Bap

We had tickets for The Lion King Show on Saturday night, but we didn’t order dinner package. Therefor we needed to find another place to eat before the show. I found this Korean Restaurant near Lyceum Theater. It is at the same street, so very convenient. When we arrived, there was no queue outside but the place was very busy. We were lucky they have available seat, even though it was a small table. We saw a queue outside not long after we sat!

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On The Bap

It was very nice to hear the staff (or maybe the owner also there) spoke Korean. Feels authentic 😀 Their concept of menu is like tapas. Everything comes in small portion.

My favorite is Gimari Salad (£4.5) , fried seaweed roll salad with special sauce. It was sooo delicious. It is a kind of savory salad. Bibimbap (£7.9) was not bad but I like the one at Nikutaro Saigon better 😀 The chicken (£5.9)! I should have ordered different sauce… As must as I like garlic and mayo, this one was far from my expectation. Maybe another reason of it was because the chicken itself had no taste. So the sauce need to have strong flavor to compensate it.

Website : http://onthebab.com/

13. Poppies Fish and Chips

If you visit London, you have to try one of their ‘traditional’ dish, Fish and Chips. The question is where to get the best fish and chips in town? There are a lot of fish and chips shops all around London but I didn’t know which one should I tried. I did some research on google and foursquare and found out about Poppies Fish and Chips. It has a good reviews and seems to be around for a very long time already (since 1952!). I found 1 shop near Spitalfield Market. A lot of people were eating it outside of the restaurant. I thought it was because of the restaurant was full, but it wasn’t.

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We decided to dine-in instead of take away. The waitress reminded us that the price for dine-in is different than take away. It is almost double! We saw cod fish fillet was about £6, that was take away price. For dine-in, regular size cod fish and chips is £12.20. It is including chips and sauces. Please keep in mind that the service charge is 12.5% for eating in restaurant in London.

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We ordered cod and halibut to try both. The portion was huge! It had a lot of chips as well. Chips is french fries in UK language 😀 They gave us sauces, chili, ketchup and mayo. This is the difference from take away. For take away no sauce and no cutlery (or maybe need to ask them).

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Halibut fish and chips @ Poppies

Overall their food was great. Are they really the best fish and chips in town? I’m not sure since I’ve only tried theirs.

Website : http://poppiesfishandchips.co.uk/

14. Kanada-Ya Ramen

As a noodle lover, particularly ramen, me and my husband always wanted to try ramen (japanese noodle) in new place. We found this place in London, Kanada-Ya. It was said to be the best ramen in town. Hence, we tried it.

I ordered Tonkotsu Ramen. To be honest, I was disappointed with the taste. It was not as good as I expected. The broth was delicious but too porky for my taste. I still prefer danbo ramen in Saigon 😀

Website :http://www.kanada-ya.com/

15. Emilia’s Crafted Pasta

We wanted to eat something simple and not too expensive for dinner that day, and also need to be close to our hotel because we were very tired from the trip to Edinburgh. We found a pasta place on foursquare and it was at St Katharine Docks. Very close to our hotel. They made their own pasta and their menu also unique. Check it out in their website.

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Pasta with parmesan, pecorino and pesto

I ordered pasta with parmesan, pecorino and pesto. The shape of pasta is unusual but it was cooked al-dente. Their sauce also yummy, although for me it was a little bit bland. The cheese helped a lot though. The pasta was £9. Portion was just right. I could still ordered a dessert though..

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Salted caramel chocolate browny with ice cream

The special dessert that day was salted caramel chocolate browny with ice cream. I was interested with salted caramel! So I ordered one and the browny was superb. I loved it! Browny was around £6.

16. Burger & Lobster

This place is very famous apparently. My friend suggested us to eat there as well, so we tried one in soho area. They have several branches. The place looks like a diner (or maybe they are?) with a lot of seating inside. When we came it was not full because it wasn’t dinner time yet. You might need to make reservation on peak hour.

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1 pound of lobster

I ordered 1 pound of lobster. I’m not a fan of lobster but this is a burger and lobster restaurant! Between those two, I preferred to try their lobster. It was a really good choice! Their garlic and lemon butter sauce is to die for. Very tasty. The lobster itself was sweet, although it was a little bit overcooked. The french fries were thin and crispy. I like this kind of fries! One portion of this was £23. Very expensive indeed!

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Lobster Burger

My husband ordered their burger with lobster meat. He said it was okay and not special. So I guess for this restaurant better go for their lobster. I can be a fan of lobster for this one 😀

17. Dishoom

I heard from so many people that Indian food in London is really good. The problem is I don’t really know how to tell a good Indian food! I only had it once in Hong Kong haha. Once again my trusted app for food told me about an excellent Indian food near me. It was Dishoom. I went there with my friend before actually, but at that time it was fully booked and we couldn’t wait for the queue because we needed to go back soon. This time me and my husband only waited for a bit (but there was already a queue there!).

They sat us on basement floor (Yes, they have 2 floor and all full with customer!). Then the waitress asked us if we ever ate there before. We haven’t of course. She then showed us around the menu and gave explanation of what dish should we order and how many dishes. Everything looked amazing though. Seriously. We ended up ordering many dishes!

Me and my husband agreed that this restaurant has an amazing food. They were all so tasty. My favorite was the calamary and the fried flat bread with butter. Very delicious!

It was really yummy. We wouldn’t mind Indian food if they taste like this one 😀 The total we spent there was about £30.15 including 12.5% service charge.

18. Sushi Samba

On our last day in London, my husband wanted to eat somewhere that we could see the city view. He found Sushi Samba and we knew that this place is very expensive. But we still go for the experience! We did a reservation for lunch (being in London for a while we were used to make reservation before eating). There is a special elevator to go to this restaurant. It is located on the 38th and 39th floors at 110 Bishopsgate street.

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Sushi Samba Menu

We looked at the menu and tried to find something that has reasonable price. None lol. Their dishes are using a fancy ingredient. We ordered Edamame with volcanic salt, California roll with Truffle Oil, Samba London, and KOBE Beef Sashimi. Everything was very delicious though. And the view from our table also breathtaking.

I also interested in their dessert, Assorted Japanese Mochi. It came with 3 flavor : mango, green tea and raspberry. My favorite was mango! I loved this mochi.

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Assorted Japanese Mochi

Website : https://sushisamba.com/location/london

 

These were places that I visited in London to have a meal. London has a lot of places to eat! Which one have you been into? Share with me in comment.

Ciao.

Food · Ho Chi Minh City · Vietnam

Phuong Chau Ky – First Try

I’ve seen this place before when I passed by on Nam Ky Khoi Nghia street but I never realized that this restaurant was on my ‘have to visit’ list (Yes I have a list on my Foursquare account haha). So today I decided to try it out. A bit worried that they don’t have English menu though. But I know a few words in Vietnamese and several types of food, so no harm in trying 😀

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Phuong Chau Key Menu

I came in and the place was crowded! Must be really good (or really cheap.. one of another). They have second floor seating as well, and I sat on one of the small table. The waitress gave me the menu while speaking in Vietnamese. I just smiled and received the menu. I saw on the menu they have lunch menu set which is interesting options. The girl came again (I’ve just opened 1 page!) and spoke in Vietnamese again. This time I told her “Sorry, I can’t speak Vietnamese” while smiling. And she smiled back and tried to explain with her limited English. In conclusion, all lunch set menu has sold out (what??!) only clay pot set menu left, or the ala carte dishes.

Their first page on menu is noodle soup dish (hu tieu), then claypot, rice and fried noodle (mi xao). I didn’t know what to order because everything seemed interesting for me (yes, I was very hungry!). No noodle for sure. I had enough of noodle yesterday 😀 I decided to order Rice with Pork Combination (com thit xao thap cam).

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Rice with Pork Combination (com thit xao thap cam)

When it came, I was surprised. Didn’t expect this many vegetables! And I didn’t see the “pork combination”. Just pork meat and mushroom, sauted with green vegetable, onions and carrot. Anyway.. I started eating. OMG! It was very delicious!! The taste was just right and I didn’t have to add anything more. I loved it! The vegetables were also fresh, especially the mushroom. Soo yummy! I really enjoyed it.

While I ate, I saw some people eating dessert. I saw on their menu that they only serve dessert during weekday, so why don’t I try it. Ordered 1 Che! I have no idea what is that aside from the red bean. They were sweet and using coconut milk for sure. I like it 😀

I didn’t order drink because they gave free ice tea. The total cost for rice and dessert was 61k vnd. What a deal! It is a good option for lunch or dinner if you are looking for a cheap and delicious homecooked-style Vietnamese food.

Ciao.

 

Food · Ho Chi Minh City · Vietnam

Mama Pho – Different Kind of Pho

Today I tried a different type of Pho in one of the restaurant near Bitexco. I like the normal Pho (the soup one) but not really a fan of noodle soup. My husband told me that this place, called Mama Pho, has some different ways to serve Pho (actually he told me it was a noodle and i didn’t think it was Pho!).

We came in and sat, then the waitress brought the menu to us, which was served as placemat as well. They have many different style of Pho, including the normal soup one, such as dried pho, wok-fried pho, rolled pho, crispy pan-fried pho, and golden-fried pillow pho. Very interesting isn’t it?

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Dried Pho Menu

I love dried noodle so I ordered the Pho kho dau hu, nam va rau (dried pho with tofu, mushroom and homemade sauce). It took a while for them to prepare the food. I guess it goes well with their slogan ” Freshly Made”. They also claimed no MSG and preservatives added.

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Dried pho with tofu, mushroom and homemade sauce

It looked delicious and tempting! But of course I need to hold myself and took a picture first 😀 I tried the soup first. Yummy! It was a bit sweet (just a little bit, like all other Pho soup in Saigon). I poured two to three spoon to my noodle and mixed it. It made the noodle less sticky to each other.

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Dried pho

Sorry for the blurry picture! Didn’t realize not enough light to speedy photo-taking. I tried the noodle with the homemade sauce and I love it! It was a little sweet and salty. Delicious. I added some chilies and it even better (Although in the end I added too much chili and too spicy for me…).

The portion was not big but good enough for me. It is 66k vnd for one portion of dried pho. Slightly higher than other pho place. But it’s worth to try for a change.

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Sweet rice balls with coconut

For the dessert I ordered Che Troi Nuoc (Sweet Rice Balls with Coconut). I rarely ordered dessert but this one was just too tempting. I’m a fan of sweet rice balls (or mochi in some languages). The dessert come first though, before my noodle! Luckily it was not a cold/hot dessert, so it doesn’t matter if I leave it until I finished my noodle. The coconut soup was sweet but bearable. The sweet rice balls was chewy but easily swallowed haha.

All-in-all, it was a good experience to try out this place. Have you tried it as well? What do you think of this place? Let me know in comment.

Ciao!

Address Mama Pho : 111 Ho Tung Mau, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

 

Food · Ho Chi Minh City · Vietnam

Thai Street – Authentic Thai Food in Saigon

I’ve heard a good thing about Thai Street a few weeks after they opened, but too bad at that time they only open for dinner. I don’t want to go to District 2 just to have dinner, as I live in District 1. But about a month ago, they also open for lunch. I was so excited to try! About 2 weeks ago, I went there (finally) with my friend. She is a regular there so she knows which menu is good.

The place itself is made with a sense of Thailand, with all the signs and decorations. It has outdoor seating (with roof) and indoor seating (with aircon). We sat outdoor because we brought our dogs as well.

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Thai Street

We ordered several dishes and when the food came, my friend showed me how to eat it Thai’s way. First of all, most of the dishes are for sharing. You can have it all by yourself of course. But by sharing you get a chance to try another menu as well. Maybe it is just a thing in Asia where we like to share. I’ve had meal with people with Europe and most of the time they didn’t share their food.

Next thing I learned from her about Thai food was Thai people likes to eat their food with 4 flavors at the same time. Salty, sweet, sour and spicy. That is why in an authentic Thai restaurant they should have these 4 items, which are fish sauce, sugar, chili pickle, and dried chili. Interesting. Saying is easy, but the most intriguing scene was when I saw she actually did it. Especially when she poured sugar on top of her food. I know we can use sugar for cooking to enhance the flavor, but usually I used it during the cooking process! Not on the plate.

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Pad Siew Ew Gai (Fried Flat Noodle with Chicken)

She showed me how to do it with this flat noodle dish. She took a little portion of it to her plate and add everything there. I didn’t do it…at first. This noodle was really delicious! It reminded me of the fried kwe tiaw in Indonesia. I ate it without adding anything. Then she asked me to try hers. I got hooked. It was even tastier! I put some sugar, pickle water and chili and mixed it together. Now I always eat this noodle that way haha. I’ve been there several times already now and this noodle is always on my table 😀 Can’t miss it.

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Chicken Green Curry

My second favorite dish there is Chicken Green Curry. I just love it. If you order this during lunch time, they will come in set with rice and vegetable as well. Not during dinner though. What I like about this curry is… everything! The chicken is tender, curry is thick and flavorful, and the green leaves in it made the curry fragrant. Very pleasant smell for us. The steamed rice was cooked well as well. There was 1 time when I got a bad steamed rice though. It was hard and dry. But overall, this dish is recommended. Better than green curry in another Thai restaurant that I’ve tried.

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Fried rice with shrimp paste

This fried rice was not bad actually, but I think it has less flavor than the other two above. I like it for a change if I don’t order green curry. It came with stir-fried pork, small dried shrimp, eggs, mango salad, and cucumber. Topped with lime, and mix it together.

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Thai pork satay

I’ve never tried Thai pork satay before. I was expecting a brown, char-grilled pork meat and some fats, marinated in dark soy sauce. Oh.. my favorite! But when it came.. it was totally different looking. Thai pork satay used all meat, and they used spices. I can taste a strong turmeric flavor on it. I don’t mind it since I like turmeric, but I don’t think I will order this again in the near future.

During lunch time, all of tea menu are free! I like their Thai lemon tea. The sugar is separated. If you like sweet drink, then you should order Thai Ice Red Tea.

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Dessert

They give free dessert after meal. Ice slush for lunch and Ice Cream for dinner. Yum!

What is your favorite dish there? Let me know in comment. Ciao!

 

Thai Street

Address : 26 Thảo Điền, Quận 2, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam.

Food · Ho Chi Minh City

Gyu-Shige – Japanese BBQ Restaurant

If you like meat, especially grilled meat, and you are happened to be in Saigon Center Shopping Mall, you should try Gyu-Shige. We tried it out of curiousity when we were there. The place is crowded but we were only need to wait for 5 minutes and they got us a table.

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Drink Menu Gyu Shige

I like how they have vast option of beer and other drinks. I was surprised they have Asahi beer as well. But since it was imported, the price is high for a beer! I ordered Sapporo instead.

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Beef menu Gyu Shige

Their option of meats are not that many, but it is enough for us. We ordered the usual dish we ate on Japanese or Korean BBQ restaurant. It’s kind of he standard for us to compare the quality of the meat and also the taste. Can you guess which are they? Yes! They are Karubi (Beef Ribs) and Samgyeopsal (Pork Belly). We always ordered this especially on new restaurant that we haven’t tried before.

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Salad Gyu Shige

My husband ordered a salad as well, because he didn’t order steamed rice. We never thought that the portion was quite big! And it was also a fresh salad.

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Side dish

Compare to Korean BBQ, Japanese BBQ didn’t have many side dish comes with the main course. This plate of vegetables and a plate of kimchi were the only thing for our side dish. We used lettuce a lot, to eat with the meat. Make a wrap and put the red sauce inside. And I must say, this red sauce is the best I’ve tried. It was really yummy. I couldn’t stop eating it.

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Karubi Gyu Shige

The karubi was also good quality. It was juicy and no weird ‘beef’ smell. It tasted delicious as well. I like to grill it medium, so it would still juicy. Yum!

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Pork Belly Gyu Shige

The other menu was Pork Belly. This was the first time I grilled pork belly by myself. Usually we had the servant to do it, or it came in small pieces. This one is more korean style. So I had to grilled it to half-cook then I cut them with scissors to smaller piece and grilled until well cooked. I LOVE their pork belly. It was not dry and it was marinated really well. Very recommended to order this.

Overall we were happy eating in Gyu Shige. The price also affordable for a restaurant inside a shopping mall, and comparable as well. The only thing that they should improve would be the grill. They let us use the same grill for beef and pork. It should have used different type of grill for different kind of meat. Pork has fat that easily burned on grill, and it also can cause the fire to raised up to the grill if we used the grill for beef.

Thanks for reading. Ciao!

Address : L5-16 Saigon Centre, 65 Le Loi street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.