At night Trung Son street food area in Binh Chanh District, Saigon was full of people coming to eat, drink, talk to each other, and entertain themselves after a whole working day. Entering the area, I was overwhelmed by lots of restaurants which were colorful and twinkle. In fact, I did not know where to go. Fortunately, I had a beautiful and talented local guide who took me to the best places to eat the best foods in the area.
1. Eating BBQ at Panda BBQ 2 restaurant
Firstly, my guide took me to a BBQ 2 restaurant at 137, Street Number 9A, Trung Son area, Binh Hung Ward, Binh Chanh District, HCMC. It was open from 16:00 to 22:30. The first thing that the waiter brought to us made me impressed. It was a charcoal oven on which we would grill the food ourselves. We ordered Iced tea with peach, okra, squid, goat breast, pork belly, tofu and chicken claw. All of the foods were marinated and put on plates.
The oven was full of burning charcoal
Iced tea with peach
They served us shredded carrot, shredded green mango, lettuce, shiso, a special sauce from soy beans, a sauce made from lime and salt.
Goat breast and eggplant
That was how we grilled tofu, okra, pork belly ourselves
Grilled goat breast
Grilled chicken claw
Foods are ok, I prefer the way how local people ate BBQ to the foods themselves.
2. Eating goat hot pot at Lẩu dê 404 restaurant
The next step was goat hot pot which consisted of dipping sauce made from fermented tofu, noodles, vegetables, goat brain, a pot of broth, bone and goat meat. When eating, the pot was put on an oven, diners put the others into the pot, and waited for the foods were well-done.
The uncooked brain and sweet, spicy, greasy, distinctly smelling special sauce made from fermented tofu
Noodles, goat guts, and goat brain
The rich broth, bones, meat, skin, tendons of goat were cooked in a pot
The goat meat looked mouth-watering
Vegetables included Glebionis coronaria, greens, malabar spinach
Noodles should be eaten at the end
3. Eating dishes from wild boar at Chị Dậu restaurant
Address: 113, Street Number 8, Trung Son area, Binh Hung Ward, Binh Chanh District, HCMC
Open time: 10:00 – 22:30
Chị Dậu restaurant was very famous for lots of strange Vietnamese foods such as Fried rice with salted fish, Fried frog, Pork and bamboo shoot soup, Pork leg and pork blood stew, Salted, sour, and spicy shin shank, Dishes from wild boar including Grilled wild boar, Wild boar sausage, and Boiled wild boar.
Fried rice with salted fish was crispy, a little sticky and Fried frog which was crispy outside and tender, chewy inside
Pork and bamboo shoot soup
Pork leg and pork blood stew tasted distinct and unforgetable
Dishes from wild boar were served on a flat bamboo basket with Steamed sticky rice, and a special dip made from fermented shrimp.
Salted, sour, spicy, crunchy, and tender shin shank
After eating all of the foods above, I was completely full. On the tour, I did not only enjoy great Vietnamese foods but also learned more about local life in Saigon. BBQ and hot pot were very popular in the city because Saigon people loved to cook themselves, talk to each other while cooking, eating and drinking.