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.

Traders

Traders is an unassuming addition to the scene. Located on the fringes of the central business district, this stylish, Gaelic restobar is better known for its martinis and beer-friendly shish kebabs than it is for French cuisine.

Vicki’s Teppanyaki & BBQ

Arriving via elevator at the first floor of Vicki’s five-storey building, we enter the VIP room. Small (seating a maximum of 10), dark and sleekly designed, a feeling of contemporary Asian luxury dining abounds.

Foodie Corner

It’s always refreshing when you’re walking down the same street you walk down each and every day and something new crops up, seemingly out of nowhere. It’s a testament to this evolving metropolis. On the corner of Nguyen Cu Trinh and Tran Hung Dao is a welcoming and newly set up quan nhau — Nuong 5KU An Phe.

In its central location just behind the Bitexco Tower, Ham Nghi serves as a pertinent place to host the plethora of food outlets that line the street. From the all day market that has bubbling tubs of fresh fish to the mini-marts specialising in western brands, it’s a street with something for everyone. But it is at 66–68 Ham Nghi that the biggest name of all, Nhu Lan, presides over the competition. Open 24 hours and standing as a delicatessen, bakery, butcher, roadside barbecue and Vietnamese street food restaurant all in one, this corner property has been here for over 40 years.

Framed sepia-toned pictures of the ‘old country’ adorn the walls of this quaint and surprisingly lengthy restaurant. The concave ceiling made up of exposed brick is strangely reminiscent of the London Underground’s Baker Street tube station and a pre-20th century European wine cellar. It’s comforting and wholly conducive to the relaxing yet chatty ambience.

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