in Snack Attack

Gỏi Đu Đủ Reflects the Mekong Region's Culinary and Cultural Wisdoms

As the cicadas begin to sing in the tamarind canopies along Pasteur Street after the first monsoon rain, vivid scenes from my formative years flash by in my mind. My cheeks became flushed and my eyes teary, but not from the harsh sun and wind, nor the frustration of losing multiple marble games; it was the sight, or rather, the scent of a papaya salad enveloped in Cô Ri pungent anchovy sauce.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: In D5, a Family Durian Xôi Xiêm Recipe Inspired by Cambodia

At first glance, xôi xiêm sầu riêng — or sticky rice with egg custard and durian — may appear plain-looking, but apart from being a tasty sweet treat, this simple dish also holds stories of life during Vietnam’s post-war period.

in Snack Attack

A Pilgrimage to Sơn La, Vietnam's National Mận Capital, as a Devoted Fan

There’s a kind of sweet, sour, and slightly tannic fruit that never fails to make our mouths water every summer.

Paul Christiansen

in Food Culture

Banana Is a Paragon of Neutrality. I Propose Using It as a Metric to Rank All Fruits.

Line up all the world’s fruits, best to worst, taking into account every rateable aspect imaginable including taste, appearance, price, reliability and seasonality — the banana rests at the exact middle. So I've personally used it as the ideal threshold to rank every fruit I've ever eaten.

in Snack Attack

An Ode to Dried Fruit, Vietnam's Parent-Approved Way for Children to Sugar Load

I first knew dried fruit as a category of munchy snacks that had my parents’ approval.

Paul Christiansen

in Dishcovery

We Should Offer Gỏi Măng Cụt a Full-Time Position in Saigon's Food Scene

The mangosteen salad trend hit TikTok in 2023, creating a demand that led locals to quit their jobs and take on more lucra...

Thi Nguyễn

in Snack Attack

A Tale of Two Fruits: The Colonial History of Durian and Mangosteen

Although both durian and mangosteen are native to Southeast Asia, their reputation — especially from a western point of view — leads two very contrasting fates: the latter is considered a luscious delicacy while the former usually finds itself at the center of many insult-throwing contests.

Back Eat & Drink

in Ănthology

A Singaporean-Vietnamese Couple Refreshes Hakka Offal Soup With Trứng Cuộn

When my mother, a native of Singapore’s oft-visited Chinatown, described a pork offal soup stall with meatballs that “tasted suspiciously like that vermicelli dish we had in Huế back in 2013,” I knew ...

in Hanoi Ngõ Nooks

Ngõ Nooks: The 'Tiny' Cafe That Contains Multitudes

Hidden down a quiet alley opposite the B-52 Victory Museum on Đội Cấn in Ba Đình District is the gateway to Tiny Cafe. Make sure you look carefully, as the sign is easily missed, and this isn’t somewh...

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: A Cafe-Snack Bar Hybrid in Bình Thạnh Offers Portals to Japanese Nostalgia

Bình Thạnh’s Ward 19 is snuggled between Xô Viết Nghệ Tĩnh and Nguyễn Hữu Cảnh, creating a surprisingly quiet area just across from District 1. As a neighborhood, it offers an eclectic mix of local an...

Paul Christiansen

in Vietnam Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: In Đà Nẵng, Bánh Xèo Bà Dưỡng's Sauce Is Good Enough to Drink

The secret is the sauce. And the sauce is a secret. The owners of Đà Nẵng’s Bánh Xèo Bà Dưỡng refuse to reveal the recipe for the rich, meaty, and multi-faceted sauce that falls somewhere between hex ...

in Hanoi Ngõ Nooks

Ngõ Nooks: Bud'mo, a Ukrainian Welcome as Warm as a Shot of Nastoyka

“O sultan, Turkish devil and damned devil’s kith and kin, secretary to Lucifer himself…You will not, you son of a bitch, make subjects of Christian sons; we've no fear of your army, by land and by sea...

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Café Slow Cultivates a Natural Habitat for Creature Comforts

It's incredibly challenging to set yourself apart in Ho Chi Minh City's overcaffeinated café scene. The city's narrow streets and hẻms are brimming with beans.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: The Secret Realm of Good Vibes Behind the Doors of Passengers Cafe

Like any person born after the year 1990, I am chronically affected by the condition of dawdling at a coffee shop for a supposed boost in productivity and “the vibes” when the clock strikes close to a...

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Quán Ba Hí's Comfort Food Is Perfect for Eating Your Feelings Away

I've always found comfort food to be the most authentic passage to experience any type of global cuisine. Yet, when I try to find the word for it in my native tongue Vietnamese, the semantics just see...

in Hanoi Ngõ Nooks

Ngõ Nooks: From Nam Định, a Piquant Bánh Đa With Golden Fried Fish

On Quán Thánh Street, a lovely couple enhances their hometown’s specialty, bánh đa cua, with a fishy touch. Adding fried fish to bánh đa cua is a rather uncommon combination, but it helps their r...

in Hanoi Ngõ Nooks

Ngõ Nooks: The Peculiarity of a Coffee Sanctuary With No Menu and No Address

"SOLitude" — At first glance, the word conjures a sense of melancholic privateness in my ever-anxious soul. But not in a pessimistic way, fortunately.

in Hanoi Ngõ Nooks

Ngõ Nooks: A Spicy Bún Lòng Cá From Hải Phòng That Takes Guts to Try

Út Hà Quán looks nothing like the kind of traditional Hanoi street food eatery that makes it to glossy magazines and world-famous food channels. There’s no grumpy grandma, no mold on the walls an...

Khôi Phạm

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Indonesia's Ayam Penyet Is a Smashing Celebration of Spices

The most straightforward definition by which to explain ayam penyet to the Vietnamese layperson is perhaps “cơm gà Indo.” It’s technically not wrong: the dish has rice and chicken, and originates from...

in Hanoi Ngõ Nooks

Ngõ Nooks: Cafe Yên, Where the Line Between Coffee Shop and Alley Blurs

Yên (adj): quiet, unmoved.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: A Thai Feast on a Hẻm Pavement, With Vietnamese Fusion Twists

While Thailand and Vietnam have long been perpetual rivals in the football arena, at this streetside Hẻm Gem, the two cultures forge a harmonious relationship.

in Hanoi Ngõ Nooks

Ngõ Nooks: A Classic Thanh Trì-Style Bánh Cuốn That Took a Century to Perfect

Bánh Cuốn Bà Hoành is nearly a century old, and both the eatery’s name and the authenticity of the food they serve stem from the same source: the culinary wisdom of Grandma Hồng.

in Food Culture

Vietnam Surpasses South Korea as World's No. 1 Consumer of Instant Noodles Per Capita

Vietnam’s penchant for mì gói has propelled us to the top position among the world’s instant noodle consumers.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Hide From the Monsoon Rain at Đặng Thị Nhu's Lost & Found Cafe

Lost & Found Café is a newly opened sister establishment to the popular Lost & Found Bar. Both adopt a pre-1975 Saigon vibe that I, as a Gen-Z Saigoneer who is nostalgic for old Saigon, immediate...

in Ănthology

Charles Phan's Bánh Mì Is Not Here to Take You Down Memory Lane

“Charles Phan had more impact on Vietnamese food than any other chef in the country.” — Michael Bauer, San Francisco Chronicle.

Khôi Phạm

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: 60 Years of Guangdong-Style Chinese Food at Chợ Cũ's Chuyên Ký

Besides being the “it” place to obtain imported goods, Saigon’s chợ cũ, or Old Market, is also a treasure trove of hidden eateries.

Khôi Phạm

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Eggs? On My Bánh Cuốn? It's More Likely Than You Think.

The simplicity of an egg is an underrated beauty that we often take for granted.