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.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: At Sakaba Sasuke Izakaya, Happiness Is Wrapped in Pork Belly and Grilled

It took a few visits before I noticed that the music at Sakaba Sasuke was always the same.

in Food Culture

From Won to Đồng, Bánh Đồng Xu Offers a Slice of Nostalgia in the Digital Age

There was a time when I substituted meals with bánh đồng xu.

Khôi Phạm

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Sip on Mugwort Lattes, Make Ceramics, and Unwind at Haru Cottage

“I’m basically Demi Moore from Ghost,” this intrusive thought plagued my mind occasionally during our visit to Haru Cottage to participate in the cafe’s ceramic class.

Khôi Phạm

in Food Culture

What to See, Taste, and Do on a Late-Afternoon Walk in Phú Mỹ Hưng

There are probably Saigoneers who will grow old without ever setting foot in Phú Mỹ Hưng, just like how several of my relatives living in District 8 have never visited Nguyễn Huệ Walking Street. Having grown up in the southern district too, I’ve gone three decades without visiting Cần Giờ or District 12, though our proximity with District 7 means I’ve gotten a few chances to get to know Phú Mỹ Hưng.

in Hanoi Ngõ Nooks

Ngõ Nooks: Bingsu, Folk Crafts, and Hanboks at Hanoi's Hayoon Cafe

“What inspired you to open a Korean cafe?” I ask Giang, the manager of Hayoon Cafe in Nam Từ Liêm, a popular Korean district in Hanoi.

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: At D7's Tía Tô, Home-Cooked Korean Comfort Food for the World-Weary

Growing up in South Korea's extremely competitive and high-stress education system, combined with strict Asian parenting, my relationship with my parents has never been easy.

Back Eat & Drink

Paul Christiansen

in Food Culture

A Saigon Pop-Up Fuses Mexican and Vietnamese Fares, One Pun at a Time

More romantic than the season's first snow dusting a trampled field of post-harvest corn husks; more inspiring than stars strewn across a cloudless night sky; more alluring than fragrant pollen drifti...

Paul Christiansen

in Food Culture

A History of Rice Wine, Part 1: Family Stills, Prohibition and Colonial Bloodshed

Fight or flight: to ball fists, rally rag-tag villagers clutching canes, shovels, sampan oars and bamboo staffs to ward off the bayonet-wielding officers invading your home intending to ransack your c...

in Food Culture

Japan to Release Pringles-Flavored Instant Noodles and Ramen-Flavored Chips

Have you ever been ridiculed for dipping chips in ramen broth? Do your friends scrunch up their nose when you sprinkle instant noodles seasonings on your Pringles? Well, you can tell them to suck it b...

in Hanoi Ngõ Nooks

Ngõ Nooks: Autumnal Golden Hours Are the Key Ingredient in Cô Thoa’s Bún Bò Nam Bộ

Hanoi’s fascination with bún is endless. There are more varieties in this city than anywhere else in Vietnam. Bún has a lot more to offer than phở, especially as it can be served cool and dry, as seen...

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: On the Road to Ruin, From Budapest to Binh Thanh

The southern edge of Binh Thanh is one of Saigon’s most fascinating areas. More cosmopolitan than the district would have you believe, its maze-like streets hold a heady mix of different influences. W...

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Madam Oyster Proves that Taiwanese Food Is More Than Just Milk Tea

Arguably one of the most underrated cuisines in Asia, Taiwanese fare has remained under the radar in Saigon for a long time, even though Taiwanese business owners were among the first foreign business...

Khoi Pham

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Cam Cam Kafe and the Fujian Pagoda That Inspired Its Name

I wish I could claim that I discovered Cam Cam Kafe by myself. Tucked away in a corner unit up the second floor of a nondescript apartment in District 5, the coffee shop seems mostly undetectable from...

in Hanoi Ngõ Nooks

Ngõ Nooks: At Tropical Forest, Coworkers and Plants Thrive in a Unique Ecosystem

Tropical Forest isn’t one of those adorable coffee shops you find hidden away in one of Hanoi’s many pokey alleyways. In fact, it’s quite the opposite – its large glass presence resembles a giant terr...

Thi Nguyễn

in Food Culture

Bánh Pía: The Dreamy Mooncake Alternative With a Side of Teochew History

From sweet treats such as yam paste, chè bạch quả (ginkgo soup) and bite-size pastries to savory staples such as lotus root soup, bánh củ cải (radish cake), cốn xại (pickles) and xá pấu (salted radish...

in Food Culture

Foreign Fast Food Chains Report Consecutive Financial Losses in Vietnam

Are foreign fast food brands falling out of favor among locals, or are there other reasons behind their losses?

Michael Tatarski

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: On Eating Greek With Chopsticks

Who says excellent Greek food can't be served on the same menu as Korean tofu along the Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal?

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: A Canal Cafe and Bar as Rustic as Its Name Promises

Driving leisurely along Hoang Sa Street, I stopped in front of a small coffee shop called Lao Hac — a retro-style cafe that's hidden behind the perennial flowering vines within sight of Nhieu Loc...

in Food Culture

De-Shelling Vietnam’s Love of Eating Snails

Snails prove a divisive delicacy in many countries, but in Vietnam, they are perhaps more misunderstood, and arguably more refreshing, than anywhere else in the world.

in Food Culture

New Food Tour Retraces Anthony Bourdain's Culinary Journeys in Vietnam

Vietnam held a special place in the famous chef, traveler and food enthusiast’s heart, and now visitors can get a glimpse of the places and foods that he loved most.

Khoi Pham

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: On the Hunt for Succulent Seared Chicken in an Old French Apartment

As far as urban nooks go, exploring Saigon’s apartment buildings is perhaps the best way to discover new hangouts, Instagrammable corners and amazing views of the city.

in Food Culture

This Taiwan Restaurant's Pizza Has Some Ballsy Toppings: Tapioca Pearls

Who'd a thunk it?

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Tried-and-True Singaporean-Style Hainanese Chicken Rice in D4

Every foodie who has visited the island-nation of Singapore has probably heard about about a local specialty known as Hainanese chicken rice. With a Michelin star and Michelin Bib Gourmand title, ...

Thi Nguyen

in Food Culture

Delving Into the Life Journey of Japanese Grandmas During World War II Through Home-Cooked Food

Grandma's Recipes is a 10-part Japanese documentary series that features the stories of ten different octogenarians and their relationship with cooking.

in Hanoi Ngõ Nooks

Ngõ Nooks: Kamon – Authentic Japanese Cuisine Served With a Side of Persian Rugs

Tucked away amongst a row of cafes on Van Phuc Street is a curious Japanese restaurant – beneath the bright red KAMON sign above its entrance and the usual menus offering sashimi and sushi is an altog...

Khoi Pham

in Saigon Hẻm Gems

Hẻm Gems: Lured by the Promise of 7-Way Noodles, We Found Delicious Dim Sum in D5

Come for the seven-way noodles, stay for the dim sum.