Savouring the tastier side of Saigon life
24-Hour Banh Mi at Banh Nam
After arriving in Binh Thanh District in January, Banh Nam has opened its second 24/7 branch, this time on Vo Van Kiet Street, D1. With the same five varieties as the original, prices start at just VND19,000. “Banh Nam is a grab-and-go Vietnamese street-food concept,” says co-founder Timen Swijtink, “with a focus on freshly-made banh mi along with a range of snacks, desserts, and drinks. Banh Nam is not trying to reinvent the banh mi; it is just adding cleanliness, convenience, and consistency. But we are, and always will be authentically Vietnamese.”
151A Xo Viet Nghe Tinh, Binh Thanh District – 24 Vo Van Kiet, D1
French Kebabs in Japan Town
From among the ramen shops and sushi counters of Le Thanh Ton’s alleyways comes Panam, a slang term for ‘Paris’, serving up a compact menu of homemade kebabs inspired by those found on the streets of the French metropolis. Having arrived at the end of 2015, Panam recently added a lunchtime delivery service within District 1 (minimum spend VND60,000), perfect for a touch of mid-week office-based food envy. While marinated chicken and lamb options are standard (starting at just VND30,000), with a falafel version on the way, the American Breakfast Kebab sounds like our kind of lunch (VND100,000).
15B/62 Le Thanh Ton, D1. FB: Panam Kebab
Cutting the Ribbon on Thai Street
Forget the HCMC Metro; Thao Dien has just been linked to Bangkok’s BTS system. Find the curious-looking (and fake) Thai food-cart parked at 26 Thao Dien and head down the adjacent alley into Thai Street, with authentic signs, neon lights, and yes, a model BTS station. Boasting several (real) food-carts pumping out steam, flames and a variety of superb Thai dishes, it’s one of the most exciting restaurants we’ve seen in a long time. With double thumbs-up from several local Thai-food junkies including our own photo editor and food blogger, Vinh Dao, and prices hovering around VND100,000 per dish, it’s an institution in-the-making.
26 Thao Dien, District 2. FB: Thai Street
Perfecting the Craft
The brewers featured in our craft beer cover story for February 2016, Hops and Dreams, are seeing their vision rapidly come to light, particularly in District 2, as Bier Ecke on Nguyen Ba Lan opened its doors in March. The decor feels a little familiar to the district’s original craft beer hub, Bia Craft, but with Pasteur Street, Platinum and a dark Gauden beer on tap, it’s not the end of the world. While other local brews are missing from the lineup, Ecke’s still worthy of a pin in the craft beer map.
Judging by a nearby venue under construction in March, Ecke may not be the last bar in town to follow the trend.
14 Nguyen Ba Lan, Thao Dien Ward, D2
Well established Thao Dien restaurant MAD House has recently expanded to District 7.
Furnished with a mix of modern Scandinavian and chic features, the restaurant will use a similar menu to its sister branch. It’s located inside Capri by Fraser at No.2 Street C, Tan Phu ward, D7, and opens daily from 11.30am to 10pm.