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[Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam] Lunch at the Courtyard, Hotel Continental Saigon

klyeoh | Jun 22, 201508:19 AM

The graceful courtyard of Hotel Continental Saigon, shaded by 135-year-old frangipani trees, provided a rather attractive setting for some very competently executed renditions of local Southern Vietnamese cuisine.

Our lunch there today consisted of:

Chả giò

Deep-fried spring rolls with ground pork, glass noodles, carrots, shrimp and crabmeat.

Cha gio, with a fresh lettuce & Vietnamese holy basil wrap

Dousing cha gio in nước mắm pha

Nước mắm pha - a dip consisting of fish sauce mixed with lemon juice, sugar and chillis.

Cá bông lau kho tộ với thịt ba chỉ

Caramelised catfish with pork belly, braised in a claypot - very sweet, one of the typical features of Southern Vietnamese cooking.

Surf & turf

A delicious combination of firm-fleshed, very fresh catfish with fatty pork-belly slivers.

Gà xào sả ớt

Sauteed chicken with chillies and lemongrass - the dish was also rather sweet, and not very spicy despite its chilli content. The Southern Vietnamese' cuisine is not as spicy as those from Central Vietnamese culinary centres like Hue.

Hotel Continental Saigon's lovely courtyard

The courtyard provides a quiet respite from the ever-busy Dong Khoi Street outside.

Hotel Continental Saigon (Est. 1880) is Vietnam's first hotel

Among its famous guests were Walter Cronkite, and Graham Greene, who wrote part of "The Quiet American" there - he also used the hotel as a setting in his novel.

Continental Hotel Courtyard
132-134 Dong Khoi Street
District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Tel: +84 838 299 201

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