Being a foreigner in HCM myself yet, I had to act the veteran as it was my colleague’s first trip to Vietnam umm actually first visit to the Asian shores , thankfully he was rather adventurous with food which made life so much easier ( and food so much tastier). Before we left the hotel in search of dinner, I checked with the receptionist about where can we have good pho ( beef noodles) and she pointed to the alley directly opposite the hotel, ahh..that was easy!
We braved the traffic and Colleague ( henceforth known as Dat fler) seemed rather pleased with the name of the restaurant – Lemongrass- which sounded to authentically asian to him.
There were no empty table at the groung floor and we follow the waiter up the wooden stairs to the next level and was shown to a cozy little table at the end of the room, we ordered an appertizer and for main course – noodles. we munched on keropok while waiting for our meal to be served.
The appertizer was a combination of small dishes. We were also served with 2 small bowls of different sauces /dip and the waiter had kindly explained which one goes with which sauce. bottom left – deep fried rolls of some kind with some meat filings (not bad), spring rolls in rice paper ( kinda chewy rice paper by the way, with mostly vegetable filings, hmmm..interesting blend of taste -basil being most significant ), seafood balls ( tasty and springy) and salad ( mostly cabbage , nothing too memorable).
Dat fler asked for Saigon beer ( 33,000D) while I had pineapple juice (49,000D), eh..i just realised my drink was more expensive than the beer. Maybe I should have ordered a beer instead. When asked to comment about his beer, the reply was ‘ there is no such thing as a bad beer’
Next up – our main course, the noodles , Dat fler had seafood noodle soup ( 89,000D) which he slurp up so quickly that I didn’t even have a chance to take a photo. Anyway, mine was beef noodle soup ( 69,000D) which was good, the beef slices were tender yet with a bit of bite and the soup was – beefy , full bodied and tasty.
While we were enjoying our meal , the place had started to fill up ( full house ) and we were in a room full of mat sallehs, except for me- that is. Seemed to be a rather popular restaurant for tourist…oh oh….you can read that as good/ bad
For dessert . we had mixed tropical fruits ( 49,000D) , which came decorated with a parasol. The fruits included : dragon fruit, pineapple, watermelon and grapes ( since when was grape tropical ?)
Overall, a rather good meal ( especially when the company is picking the bill lorrr )
4 Nguyen Thiep, District 1, HCM
Tel : (84-8) 822 0496
(This is located at the alley directly opposite Kimdo Hotel ( or look out for the Pho24 outlet, Lemongrass is just opposite : actually only after the mean- did i realised that when the receptionist suggested we walk this way for pho, she might have meant- Pho24 outlet and not Lemongrass ?)