It was Sunday afternoon and we were gonna have lunch with noodle dish at Dong Khoi Street when we walked passing by this Vietnamese Restaurant, Ganh. It is said that they serve Nha Trang Authentic Food. My husband have been to Nha Trang before and he wanted to find a good Nha Trang restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City. So we’ve been wanting to try Nha Trang cuisine and didn’t expect to found one at 91 Hai Ba Trung Street.
The ambiance is really nice. I like the big painting on the wall. The waitress was very attentive. Once we sat down, they gave us the menu. We picked Nem Nuong Dac Biet (for share) and Bun Cha Gio (for me). They have Nem Nuong for one person as well. And for the drink, we ordered coconut and nuoc ep Ganh (Ganh special juice). Their menu has explanation in English, so it’s very easy for foreigner to order.
Their Bun Cha Gio is good. I like the deep-fried rice paper pieces. It’s salty and crunchy. The cha gio (spring roll) also good surprisingly. It is different than cha gio in other restaurant, but still taste yummy.
Nem Nuong Dac Biet came with a big plate of several items in it. Rice papers, lettuces, several types of leaves, scallions, deep-fried rice papers, eggs, 2 kind of barbeque meat (savoury and sweet), carrots, mangos, and cucumbers. The rice paper used in nem nuong is different than the one used in fresh spring roll. This one has a square shape, and no need to rub it with water. It’s already soft, so you can use it directly.
How to eat Nem Nuong : take 1 sheet of rice paper, put everything you want on top of it, roll the rice paper tightly, dip it in the sauce, and bon appetit. This one very delicious. I like to put mango inside. It tastes really fresh because of the sourness from mango (not that sour, don’t worry).
Overall the foods were good, but the price is a bit high for Vietnamese food. It’s about 150.000 vnd (or USD $7) per person. But this one is recommended to try if you want to eat Nha Trang cuisine.
I thought I won’t find any good Indonesian Restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City, until I heard about this place, La Fenetre Soleil. It is located at 44 Ly Tu Trong, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Next to M2C cafe.
The entrance is not very convincing, but trust me you have to try and take those stairs to 2nd floor. There are 2 fashion and accessories shops before the restaurant. I should check it out next time. They seems to have interesting stuff inside.
La Fenetre Soleil is a cafe and bar, with live music stage. They often have event there. I heard that they are very popular with their ambiance. It has vintage touch with some old furniture, many different style of tables and chairs. There are sofas, but there are also bar stools and classic chairs. It doesn’t look like a restaurant, more like a bar.
When I went there, there were 3 groups of people. A Japanese group and 2 western couples. I don’t like that customer can smoke in the room, because of no air conditioner only fans. I can smell the cigarette smoke from everywhere while trying to find somewhere to sit. Then I decided to sit on the table near window. I must endured the smell until those Japanese guys left.
The waitress gave me menu, but it was only drink menu. The drink menu is in English and Japanese. Must be a lot of Japanese people coming there. I looked around and saw all the guests were drinking only. None was eating. Made me wonder if I came to the right place…
I called the waitress again and asked for lunch menu. Apparently you have to ask for food menu because normally people go there to enjoy the drink and live music.
La Fenetre Soleil Menu
La Fenetre Soleil Menu
The main dish in that restaurant is Indonesian food. I can say that it’s a traditional Indonesian food, not those fusion type. There are also western food but not so many. Their special is “nasi rames”, it is a typical Indonesian food where you can have everything in one plate; meat, vegetables and soup (separate bowl). You need to ask what is the specialty of the day, because for “nasi rames” they cooked based on what fresh ingredient they found on market that day. It also come with ice tea and traditional Indonesian dessert. All that for the price of 180.000 vnd.
I decided to order “Ayam Goreng Lengkuas” (Typical Indonesian Fried Chicken with Galangal flavor) and Fresh Passion Fruit Juice for the drink.
The juice came first and it was too sweet for me. I should order it without sugar next time.
The fried chicken was delicious, it came with 2 pieces of chicken. I haven’t eaten this kind of chicken for a long time. One thing to be improved is the chicken texture, they fried it too long. The meat is a bit dry, but still can taste the spices on every bites though. It doesn’t taste plain even for the deepest part of the meat. They are using woven bamboo plate to serve the food, covered with banana leaf, which is a traditional way of eating Indonesian food and it’s a good thing, but I found it hard to cut the chicken because it isn’t steady enough.
When I was eating, vaguely Sundanese music in the room! I used to hear this music a lot when I ate in Sundanese Restaurant in Indonesia. So nostalgic! xD
I didn’t order dessert because I was full already. Their dessert is very tantalize. For lunch menu, they have “pisang bakar”, “es campur” and “jajanan pasar”. It is a very traditional dessert from Indonesia. I should try this next time! I asked them for my bill and the total was 175.000 vnd. Tax already included in the price.
This restaurant has a website and there you can check for the event and food menu. For Dinner they also have Indonesian food but very few, mostly are western food or Japanese food. Next visit I will try one of these : Rendang, Tumis Cumi Hitam, Sop Buntut, Nasi Rames, or Special Rijstafel Dinner.
Every Monday to Friday from 17.30 to 19.30 they have happy hour where you can get 50% off for all cocktail, beers, wines and mixed drinks. Shouldn’t miss this !
Trying out Quan Nem. They only sell 2 dishes on their menu, that is bun cha and cha gio (spring roll). It’s a must-try restaurant. This is the only restaurant in hcmc who sells crab spring rolls. They have 2 kind of sauce, northern style and southern style. This one we used southern style. According to my friend the northern style tastes rather bland.
How to eat bun cha :
1. Get a lettuce, put some noodle on top of it then add some herbs.
2. Roll the lettuce so that it’s easier to hold.
3. Put some sauce to small bowl (add chili if u like)
4. Dip the roll on the sauce and enjoy! Yummy~
Address : 15E Nguyen Thi minh Khai, district 1, ho chi minh city.
I was interested to try hu tieu today. It’s a noodle dish in Vietnam that came from Cambodia and/or China, they said. Unfortunately the place i wanted to go is closed until 4 pm. I asked my driver if he knows other place, and he brought me to this place, Hong Phat. He said it’s very famous before, but he doesn’t know whether it’s still good or not now. Hmm..i can try (and i was very hungry as well !!).
The place were not too crowded when i came. A guy came to me and spoke in Vietnamese, then i reply in English (I know he was asking me how many people). Apparently he doesn’t understand, so he called a younger guy who can speak English. I think he is the son of the owner. He asked me again, then let me sit anywhere on empty table.
As I sit here, i saw many people coming to this place. They have to share table with stranger as well if you see on the layout. The specialty of this place is Hu Tieu Nam Vang, but i ordered Mi Nam Vang, dry style. They have wet and dry style, can say what you want when you order.
It came with a plate of vegetable. First, i tried the soup. Very rich broth, but a little sweet. I’m used to salty broth. The soup has a chunk of pig blood. Next, i tried the noodle. It tastes good, but (again) a little sweet. There are many topping on top of it, such as shrimp, crispy pork lard, pork liver, small shrimp, minced pork, spring onion and some other small things i don’t know the name. For the topping, if you don’t like pig organs, you can also ask them to remove it when you order. But if you eat everything then just try it, they are pretty good.
They have many kind of sauce to add on dishes, but i think not all suitable for my dish. There are garlics, minced garlics, chili sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce, homemade chili sauce, vinegar, and sugar. I was really surprised when i saw sugar. I need to ask my Vietnamese friend about this lol.
After i’m finished eating, I read that their pork spring rolls for lunch menu is really good. Hmm.. maybe next time will try that, and hu tieu! The price for Mi Nam Vang is 85k vnd. No additional tax or service charge, all included.