Food · Ho Chi Minh City · Vietnam

Galbi Brothers – Authentic Korean BBQ

If you are visiting District 7 ย Ho Chi Minh City and looking for a good meat restaurant, you have to try this Korean BBQ restaurant. I’ve been there 1 time (which was last year lol) and haven’t been there since. We tried it again because it was the first thing popped out on our mind when we planned to go to D7 yesterday. It is located near the sky garden, on R1-25 Hung Phuoc 4, Pham Van Nghi, D7.

We actually forgot how it tasted, was it good or was it bad. I didn’t recall any bad comment from myself last year so I assumed this place should be good. We arrived there and choose the indoor seating. I’m not a fan of being outdoor in humid weather with some BBQ grill. No thanks. The indoor seating on first floor was full. It has a traditional design, where everyone sit on the floor with short table and need to put off their shoes/sandals. All 4 tables are in 1 room.

We sat on 2nd floor where every table has their own partition and ordered 1 kalbi and 1 samgyeopsal (pork belly). I wanted to eat bibimbap but they don’t have the kind I wanted (I wanted bibimbap in hotstone), so we only ordered herbal rice to try it out.

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Side dishes

One thing I like about Korean BBQ restaurant is their side dishes! And this one has so many. Salads, kimchi, hot soup, sweet potato, toppoki (rice cake), cap jae (stir fry glass noodle), steamed egg, tofu, and a basket of veggies to wrap the meat. They also provide cold water for us, refillable. You can order other drink but I stick to the free one ๐Ÿ˜€

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Charcoal

Many BBQ restaurant are using electric or gas stove for the grill, but Galbi Brothers still using charcoal, which is a perfect medium to grill meat. I like BBQ with charcoal because they taste better and smells better as well!

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Pork Belly (Samgyeopsal)

The first meat has come. Pork belly! And they were huge! I never had pork belly as thick as this one. The waitress helped us grilling the meat. We were worried it might not be cooked well because they were so thick, but she did a good job! The meat was well-cooked and it also delicious. Yum!

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Galbi (Beef Ribs)

After she finished the pork belly, she changed the grill with this one. It’s unusual to see this on BBQ restaurant, because usually they just use the same grill for different meat. She put a little bit of water at the side of charcoal pot and put this grill for beef. This ribs was also thick, but then we were worried it might be overcooked because the waitress also attending another table and cooked for them. We like medium-cooked beef so yea we were unsure with the way she cooked it for us. But it turned out she really knows what she’s doing! She made the meat medium cooked, still juicy and they were also delicious. Yum! Big feast xD

Too bad she couldn’t understand when we ordered steamed rice, but it was also a good thing because we were already full with 2 meats and 1 herbal rice shared. Lucky she didn’t understand! Lol.

For this meal we spent 590.000 vnd (or about 30 USD) in total. The galbi was 430.000 vnd and pork belly was 160.000 vnd. It was a good deal I think. Happy tummy at the end of lunch.

Do you have any favorite korean bbq in Saigon you can recommend to me? Please leave in comment below ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

Food · Ho Chi Minh City

Tama River Review – First Try

Tama River is a Japanese restaurant located in 14E1 Thao Dien, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City. It might be hard to find it if you don’t know Thao Dien area (like what was happened to me because my driver didn’t know the way and almost drop me off at another building). Luckily, my friend told me before the way to get there. It is down to residential area opposite of Mekong Merchant. Or when you see Mon Hue restaurant, just go to the street next to it. Some people also don’t know Mekong Merchant and I know exactly that I can’t depend on google map (It is shown at different place). Yes, I was lost before ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

As we came in, there were not many people on the first floor. Only 2 tables had customers. There is a stair to next floor but I didn’t check the 2nd floor. They gave us 2 kind of menu. One menu was the ala carte, and the other was set menu. The ala carte menu has pictures on it, although not all the food has picture. At least it helps you to choose the dish. But the set menu doesn’t have any picture, just a list of set menu with its description. Would be nice to have some pictures on it, or even all! ๐Ÿ˜€

I went there with my husband and we both ordered the set menu. His order was Sake Sashimi and Gyu Saikoro Suteki Set (Salmon and Beef), and I ordered Katsu Curry Rice Set. We waited for quite some time, not as quick as we thought, but it was still okay. I was still standing, hasn’t fainted yet…

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Sake Sashimi and Gyu Saikoro Suteki Set

The set menu for this dish is including Chawan Mushi, Miso Soup, Meatball and Rice. I really like their Chawan Mushi (steamed egg). It was just like a normal chawan mushi (Yes, I’ve been trying other chawan mushi lately at other restaurants and they tasted weird!). It has chicken, naruto and mushroom at the bottom. Even my husband liked it! He is not a fan. The Salmon Sashimi was good. It was fresh and came with big chunk. Meatball and miso soup were also good. The disappointment was on the beef. It was hard and a bit chewy.

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Katsu Curry Rice Set

This was my order. I liked them! I finished it all ๐Ÿ˜€ The katsu was made from pork fillet, so not much fat on it. They fried it nicely, still crunchy but not overcooked. Curry sauce also delicious, a bit spicy but I could still handled it. I especially like the red thingy on the rice. I don’t know what was it, but it made the combination of katsu and rice taste really yummy. Too bad they only gave a little. Maybe I could ask for more? Hmm let’s try next time ๐Ÿ˜€

For me, this restaurant is quite good. But! For people who lives in central area maybe it will less tempting because of the distance. There are several good Japanese restaurant as well in district 1.

For people in district 2, I think this is the best ย Japanese restaurant there. I will go there again, since I often stay a bit longer at district 2. I want to try another set menu ๐Ÿ˜€

Tama River opens from 11.00 am to 2.30 pm, and from 5.00 pm to 10.00 pm.

Bread · Food · Ho Chi Minh City · Snacks

Kokois

I heard this place from my friend in dogwalking group. She said this place is dog friendly. I’ve been looking for a dog friendly restaurant or cafe to have breakfast or lunch. It’s nice to stop by after dogwalking to refresh with some foods and drinks. Kokois is located on 24 Thao Dien street, District 2, HCMC, next to Uncle Bill store.

I decided to try it out with my friend. The place looks small from outside but once you go inside it’s quite big. They have a private space as well. And for dog owner, they allow us to use the seats on the back near ‘garden’. According to my other friend, who knows the owner of this place, guests are not allowed to bring pets inside. But when I was there, there was another people with their dog too. So I guess they changed the policy?! ๐Ÿ˜€

Anyway.. I tried out the lunch set menu. It is available from 11.00 am to 2.00 pm. It was really good! 130.000 vnd for the set. Then I need to order drink as well.

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Vietnamese Cherry Juice

The juice was really fresh. Not sweet at all, so if you have sweet tooth you will need to ask for sugar.

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Vegetarian Burger

My friend ordered vegetarian burger because she can’t eat meat. And she said it was really tasty and big portion as well.

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Lunch Set Menu

This is my food! You can choose the bread and which topping do you want. I chose ham. It was really really tasty. Yum! The soup also delicious. It was soup of the day, so you might get a different kind of soup when you order that on different day.

Kokois concept is cafe, bistro and lounge combined with retail store. They have collection ofย fashion, accessories, gifts and home deco. Might be a good place to look for a present as well.

All in all, I recommend this place. Definitely will come back ๐Ÿ˜‰

Food · Ho Chi Minh City · Vietnam

Buffet Dinner @ Hotel Nikko Saigon

Many hotels have their buffet lunch or buffet dinner in their restaurant, but not all of them has a good food given the high price they charged. One of the restaurant that has a good review is Hotel Nikko Saigon. My husband has tried it before and he said the food is delicious, so I was interested to try it as well. We went there 4 days ago to celebrate his birthday.

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The buffet dinner is at 2nd floor of the hotel. There is a reception table where you will be asked if you have reservation there. We didn’t make any reservation, but luckily they still have table for us. (Note to self : next time need to make reservation to make sure we have table). They gave us a small table for 2 persons, then asked us what drink would we want; red wine, white wine, beer, soft drink, champagne. We both ordered white wine. The waitress then offered us which way of cook for lobster we would have; steamed, grilled, or grilled with cheese. The lobster is apparently most favorite dish here.

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Grilled Lobster

My husband ordered grilled lobster. It was grilled with butter. So good! So yummy! This one is only half of lobster.

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Grilled Lobster with Cheese

I ordered this one. Yummy as well~! The lobster was a bit hard. I don’t know if it’s because they cooked it for too long or that’s how lobster is. I never ate lobster before.

We ended up order another portion of lobster. We were not sure if the lobster free of charge (because this is an all-you-can-it buffet) or need to pay separately if we order more. For lobster, we have to order it from table, directly to the waiter. It came in full lobster divided by 2. Yummy! And the best part is it’s inclusive in the buffet price, no extra charge when we checked our bill. It means you can eat as many lobster as you can, as long as you can finish it!

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It was Thursday night and this restaurant is so packed. Many reserved table as well. There was live music which makes the dinner more cozy.

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Seafood counter

Seafood counter where you can order sashimi, nigiri sushi, and hand-roll sushi. Also to get shrimps, crabs and bring it to grill counter next to it. I love the salmon sashimi. It’s fresh and delicious. The tuna sashimi is bad though, I don’t like it.

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Salad counter

I’ll be honest. I didn’t visit this counter >_< They look fresh and delicious though.

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Appetizer counter

At the end of this counter, there are mussels and oysters. I like the oyster! Fresh and delicious.

There are also counter for hotpot, pasta, beef, and dessert. A huge variation of food and most of them are delicious. I don’t like the beef though. Their pasta is good! I wanted to order more but my stomach couldn’t handled it. Too full.

And so the most important part is how much is the price for buffet dinner in Hotel Nikko Saigon. It’s 1.100.000 vnd per person (plus 5% service tax and 10% VAT). If you have member card, you can get 15% discount. Not bad for a 5-star hotel.

Will you go there to enjoy all-you-can-eat lobster? or just to celebrate something special? Worth it ๐Ÿ˜‰

Drinks · Food · Ho Chi Minh City · Vietnam

The Vintage Emporium Saigon – first try

When I have no idea what to have for lunch or dinner, I often use Foursquare to help me out. I find the reviews there are reliable. So this time I also used it to find a lunch place.

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The Vintage Emporium

There was 1 interesting restaurant that I wanted to try before. The Vintage Emporium at 95B Nguyen Van Thu, Ho Chi Minh City. It is a European style small restaurant. I have it on my list on foursquare and the review also really good. A very high review score. So I went there for lunch.

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The Vintage Emporium first floor

The place is not too big but really comfortable to sit and have coffee or meal. They are famous for their breakfast, brunch and lunch, but I think in the evening will be nice to hang out there as well. They are open from 8.30 am to 10.00 pm. When I came, there were many customers in first floor so the waitress ushered me to second floor.

 

I sat on a long table near window, and then she gave me the menu and wifi password.ย I like the ambiance, feels homey and relaxing. I like the interior design as well. Classic.

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Lunch Combo

I saw the menu and mostly costs above 100.000 vnd. There is lunch combo from 11.30 to 13.30 with several choices for only 99k vnd. Better try the combo then. I picked saigon baguette and vietnamese ice coffee with milk. I found out later that they charge 5.000 vnd for the milk.

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Saigon Baguette

Saigon Baguette. One word. Loved it! The bread is crunchy outside and soft inside, with fresh vegetables and BBQ pork on top of it. Very recommended!

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Vietnamese Ice Coffee

Their ice coffee also good. It’s a bit strong for me but I like the taste.

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Another thing that I like here is that they serve free water for you!

This is The Vintage Emporium menu just in case you want to see what they are serving there.

All-in-all this is a very good place to go alone or with friend(s), to have a chat or just enjoying morning / afternoon.

Have you been there as well? What do you think of this restaurant? Let me know in comment below ๐Ÿ˜‰