a post wherein gourmet vietnamese equals warmed over chinese food

last post about vietnam – well until the next time i go.

my last dinner in vietnam was wasted (WASTED!) on yet another higher end vietnamese restaurant. next time i’m eating all street level food.

hoi an is a highly rated vietnamese place specializing in royal hue cuisine – what your author failed to realize is that royal hue cusine is basically chinese food. and really expensive chinese food at that.

the meal started out well with this really wonderful place setting and china.


hoi an bowl and plate

one of the difficult things about ordering from a vietnamese or english menu, is that if it had had chinese, i would’ve been able to avoid some ordering mistakes – and ordered something a lot more vietnamese-y instead. but when i ordered vietnamese duck rolls, i ended up with the following:

ho chi minh city duck - hoi an

it’s pretty much peking duck. but not as good. note the old school carved carrot. what anthony bourdain would call “dinosaur-style” chinese food.

the next dish was much better – and i think a lot more reflective of the south-east asian flavors of vietnam. grilled scallops

hoi an

the last dish was honey grilled beef (savoring the grilled beef i had had at temple club the previous night) and while it was okay, it most certainly wasn’t worth the $11 USD i paid for it.

meal at hoi an

verdict – there’s nothing really wrong with the food at hoi an, but it’s quite overpriced and there’s certainly much better versions of chinese food to be had elsewhere, whether in vietnam or china itself.

hoi an
11 le thanh ton st., dist. 1, ho chi minh city
dinner for 1: $37 USD (yes! it was that expensive)

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4 Responses to a post wherein gourmet vietnamese equals warmed over chinese food

  1. jill says:

    Street food in Vietnam is sooo bomb! I wish they had good pho in this city – we’ve been looking and looking, but all the vietnamese places fail big time. Anyway, love your blog!

  2. terence says:

    Hey Jill, this place is rife with mediocre pho (pho king, pho real, pho sizzling, pho real) but there is one place here that does excellent San Jose/Orange County/Paris/Sydney level pho, but I’m not sure I feel like giving away the secret on this blog, since the guy only does it if you call a week ahead of time anyways and he doesn’t really want more business. Maybe a blog post next time I go.

    Thanks for reading . .. and please comment more in the future!

    (this city = Shanghai, right?)

  3. jill says:

    this city is indeed shanghai.. will you please share your secret with me? i promise i wont publicize it either!

  4. terence says:

    Let me think about it – shoot, I don’t know if the guy still does it. I can be convinced to find out though

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