Sai Gon: Eating out – Vietnamese style

A quick guide to some local food.

Chap Cafe

A local joint in a side street surrounded by new residential blocks, Chap Cafe has a lunchtime contract to feed workers from a local engineering firm.

This dish is Bang Da Cua (noodle soup with crab meat). As usual in Vietnam, it comes with a plate of herbs and green leaves, banana plant and chilis, lime, and the ubiquitous fish sauce. This cost 35 000 VND (£1.20 / $1.50).

The cafe has a so-so reputation among locals, it’s OK but nothing special. I spiced up my bowl with chili flakes, fresh chilis and plenty of lime juice.

I’ve taught my engineering students about British politeness. They would now classify this cafe as ‘not the best’, nor ‘the most delicious in HCM’.

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