Located in a restored French colonial-era villa in a quiet hem between the corner of Hai Ba Trung and Dien Bien Phu, the entrance to My Place resembles a quasi botanical-cum-Zen garden with ferns, coleus, devil’s ivy, bamboo and lotus leaves sprouting out around a short wooden track that gives way to an under-glass fishpond walkway.

When exploring hems ditch the bike, your feet are the only way to go. Minh Do hit the maze-like Alley 285 in search of a mythical seafood joint. Photos by EJ Chung

Hem 18A

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Nguyen Thi Minh Khai is one of the longest, main transit veins of Ho Chi Minh City. Serving as a channel from the boarder of District 5, skirting through District 3, and arriving in Binh Thanh, it’s used by almost everyone. So it goes without saying that there is a lot going on along it, however, Hem 18A is a particular highlight.

Ministry Of Food (MOF) Japanese Sweets & Cafe is an unlikely choice for our Mystery Diner review because it’s known more for cakes, ice creams and beverages than its savoury offerings.

Having established itself as one of Hanoi’s most popular restaurants since the opening of its flagship eatery in 2003, Highway4 has expanded into a successful franchise with five outlets now scattered across the capital, one in Ho Chi Minh City, and another due to open soon in Hoi An.

Chow Fun

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As you travel down Tran Hung Dao into District 5, the growing Chinese influence becomes evident with shop signs beginning to display Chinese calligraphy. Following the one way system at Nguyen Tri Phuong you arrive at Cat Tuong’s (105 Tran Hung Dao) impressive imperial archway.

Taking its title from the former name of the boulevard on which the restaurant is situated, Charner Café aims to bring a touch of refined Parisian gentility to Saigon’s downtown dining scene.

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