Banh Xeo 46A
Part of the fun of eating out in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh is that it doesn’t all have to be upscale. The intrepid epicurean can find incredible meals made by local restaurants and street food stalls that are a regular source of satisfaction to both locals and the discerning international crowd.
Banh Xeo 46A is a great example of a single dish restaurant serving Banh Xeo and is tucked down a discrete ally that is adjacent to Dinh Cong Trang in District 1 so some leeway on exact geographical location may be needed.
Banh Xeo means sizzling cake because that’s the sound they make when being cooked. They are simply rice batter pancakes poured into a hot pan or skillet. The crepe or pancake is stuffed with shrimp or pork and some bean sprouts, mung beans and diced onions are added.
Part of the charm of eating here are the low prices and tasty food in a unique and authentic Saigon atmosphere.
The Ly Club is much more upscale than the street food offerings, so try to dress appropriately. The concept is an all-day restaurant in district 3 area that attracts an upscale local or international expat/luxury traveler crowd. The place is named after the 11th century Vietnamese Ly Dynasty who made a name for themselves as the cultural standards of excellence in historical Vietnam.
The Ly Club gets breathless reviews from customers who have visited and left comments online. The setting and décor is flawless and provides an impeccable atmosphere for lunch or dinner or even a Mojito at the bar. Little touches like complimentary snacks are most welcome while waiting for a meal, and the menu is mostly Asian fusion cuisine, so expect a twist on traditional favorites such as roasted duck breast in Orange sauce, Oxtail soup or delicious snow figs.
The dining experience ranges from a la carte, VIP chamber, Tea Salon, Flower Room to the Cocktail Bar for pre-dinner drinks and don’t forget the Terrace upstairs if silver service dining al fresco is to your taste. The modern post-colonial building provides an attractive backdrop for either romantic meals or during the week, a quick set business lunch or menu.
Au Lac do Brazil
Part of the fun of international dining is to experience different nationalities cuisine in somewhat incongruous destinations. Sushi in Bangkok, Mexican in Hong Kong and so any visit to District 3 in Ho Chi Minh City isn’t quite complete without Brazilian Churrascaria restaurant Au Lac do Brazil. Opened for over a decade now, Au Lac do Brazil was the first Churrascaria destination in Vietnam that also provides an innovative all you can eat Brazilian BBQ.
There’s a set lunch of 10 different variations if the full meat experience is going to be saved for later, and the price for this offering is thriftier than having the full Rodizio “Rotary” service, carved and served by the Passador with skill and craftsmanship.
There is surprisingly a vegetarian menu for those who eschew meat eating, but if you feel like the full A la carte meat smorgasbord experience, the lamb chops, rib eye steak, Jumbo shrimp and baked shrimp thermidor are there for the taking.