Food Tour - Cho Lon, Vietnam

Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City is quite huge. There are various areas that may be called differently in the city and as my family began to wind down from our journey, we went to Saigon but stayed in the Chinatown area called Chợ Lớn. The funny thing is that I didn't even know we weren't officially in the heart of Saigon until my dad mentioned it the day we were going to leave; this whole time I had thought that I was in major Saigon! It made sense, however, because most of the places we went to had Chinese people and Chinese signs. Perhaps I was just too brain-dead from idleness to pick up on the differences.

So for food, we actually had some Chinese-Vietnamese food but nothing out of this world. The area wasn't famous for anything either but it was fun seeing what types of foods were around for trying out. Did you know that KFC is quite prevalent in Saigon? They also serve ice cream and fish nuggets! They weren't too shabby either.

I finally had some good phở bò the first morning we ate out. Everywhere else that I had had phở bò for the month was quite lacking in "umph" and delicousness. However, this restaurant had decent prices ($2.00 per bowl) and great food. The service wasn't bad either; keep in mind, though, that this is just comparatively. Most restaurants had utterly terrible service. Something that I discovered whenever we had phở was that the noodles used are flat and thicker than what I am accustomed to. It was a shift in pace but did not alter the dish too much. Overall, it was the soup that mattered and this place had excellent soup.

Because we were in a Chinese-y area, my parents wanted to get some dim sum. There was one restaurant we went to that served some - it wasn't anything special nor was it cheaper than dim sum back home. All in all, Chợ Lớn gave a small peek into the international food types that were around Saigon but it didn't give me a full scope of what the big city had to offer. I hope that if I come back to Vietnam, I'll spend more time in the big city to see what makes its citizens' stomachs full. By the way, stay away from this drink pictured below unless you like black licorice/star anise-flavored soda...