Western food in an unexpected location.Story and photos by Michael Tatarski.
For all of Saigon’s diversity when it comes to dining options, the reality is that the city is highly segregated in terms of food. For the most part, international cuisine can only be found in Districts 1, 2 and 7. The rest of the city is packed with Vietnamese quans and street stalls.
But Titi turns this layout on its head. Located down a small street in a section of Binh Thanh District rarely visited by foreigners, this Vietnamese-run restaurant serves excellent versions of French and Italian mainstays to a largely local clientele. Titi has two locations on Vu Huy Tan, and we chose to eat at the smaller of the two. There is no sign out front, so look for the white storefront with sliding glass doors.
The décor inside is simple. The seating is cafeteria style, so there is a good chance you’ll be sharing a table with strangers, as this place is always crowded. The white walls are in dire need of a fresh coat of paint, and are only adorned with a few French paintings and bottles of wine.
What Titi lacks in atmosphere, however, it makes up for in food. The menu features a handful of appetisers ranging from VND 25,000 to VND 35,000, a few cheap sides, and a variety of tuna salads (VND 35,000). The mains are appealing and very reasonably priced. Examples include BBQ ribs, spaghetti carbonara, and grilled ostrich. The most expensive dish is VND 105,000, and every main comes with fries and a side salad. A few dessert options, such as crème brulée and tiramisu (both VND 25,000), round out the menu. There is also an extensive drinks list, and every diner gets a free, fluffy baguette.
We start with the bruschetta (VND 30,000). Crispy garlic bread was served beside a bowl of flavourful capers and tomatoes. For a main I went with the venison steak with pepper sauce (VND 60,000). The sauce had a wonderful kick, and the gamey venison was fresh and packed with flavour. The fries, a simple dish that is regularly mishandled here, were excellent as well. My friend tried the duck breast with mulberry sauce (VND 105,000). Purple and rich in texture, the mulberry sauce soaked into the duck, creating what is possibly the best dish at the restaurant. For dessert the apple cake (VND 25,000), served warm, provided a delicious end to an overall fantastic meal. In terms of value for taste, Titi is hard to beat.
67/4/118 Vu Huy Tan, Binh Thanh
09 82 43 60 61
10am-1.30pm Mon-Sat, 10am-2pm Sun, 5pm-9.30pm, seven days.