Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday Bites: Hoa Tuc, Saigon

Wow! The heat these days is unbearable. And I just endured almost 3 hours of it without electricity just this evening. I cannot open the windows for fear of mosquito bites. These intermittent and unannounced power outages are the bane of my existence. My poor little girl was drenched in sweat in just 30 minutes and she didn't even have any shirt on. How are you coping?

For today's Monday Bites (Yay! On time for a change!), I'm writing a post on the best resto we ate at while in Saigon (HCMC should you prefer), Vietnam. Thanks to the recommendation of this expensive and compact Luxe City Guide for Ho Chi Minh City.

vietnam hcmc luxe city guide

Click more to find out!
Just a bit of a background. We did not stay in a 5 star hotel while in Saigon. We stayed at Halo Hotel which set us back only about 50 USD a night but which had a very strategic location to Ben Thanh market (must write a post on that as well). So relatively cheap and I must say the food there was gamey than we had anticipated. There was this one dish my husband ordered that he tasted and never touched after. Charge that to miscommunication, I suppose? If you must know, it was fermented fish in oil and soy sauce. I really did not even attempt to try it.


So this restaurant came well-recommended via the Luxe City Guide purchased at the last minute in Fully Booked, BGC. It retailed for PhP 480 or just a little over 10 USD. For a guide less than 20 pages and all in text, that's quite expensive for me.


seating area outside
The seating area outside Hoa Tuc. It has this french vibe going (though I've never been to France so take that statement with a grain of salt). So chic.

set lunch menu
Hoa Tuc offered this set meal but since we were there to try the resto out, we decided to choose our own dishes.

mango salad
Started with this Mango salad. Sour and a bit spicy. I really liked this. If only I wasn't suffering from inflamed tonsils which made it very painful for me to swallow anything, even my own saliva.

cucumber (pipino) soup
I ordered this cucumber soup because I was having difficulty ingesting anything. I did not like this. It was bland and there was nothing special to it. For the price (anything that caters to the western palate is expensive in Vietnam), not worth it.

soft shelled rice krispies crab
I'd have competed with H in finishing this off had I been in tip top shape. This was a very good soft shelled crab wrapped in rice krispies. Interesting take on this dish. H loved it.

bbq sea bass
Grilled seabass with avocado/mango salsa. H thoroughly enjoyed this.

interior
Interior of Hoa Tuc. Again, so chic.

We paid more than PhP 2,000 (50 USD) for this meal. While not that expensive, it wasn't exactly cheap either. Service was great. Not everyone in the staff could speak English but that was alright. I think the restaurant manager spoke both French and English.  I would visit again to try their other dishes out.

Tip: When in Vietnam, it's very easy to convert PhP to VND. Multiply the amount by 2 and drop the 3 zeroes.

facade
The exterior from the street. Easy to miss. Just take note of the numbers from the outside.

Hoa Tuc is in a compound together with other restaurants offering global dishes. It's a great place to chill. But I only saw expats while we were there. Not much of the locals. 


Hoa Tuc
74/7 Hai Ba Trung,
Dist. 1, Ho Chi Minh City,
Vietnam


1 comment:

kevin smith said...

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