Exploring Saigon: The Neighborhood Around The Chopsticks, Home Finest, and Ngon Villa

While District 3 may only be a stone’s throw from central District 1, it can often feel remarkably different, with a far slower pace, smaller crowds, and a more relaxed atmosphere. Stunning colonial architecture, temples, and parks are placed sporadically throughout the neighborhood, along with a range of shopping options.

If you’re in the area, be sure to check out The Chopsticks, Home Finest, or Ngon Villa Saigon for a taste of the city’s well-preserved colonial architecture and traditional cuisine.

Turtle Lake

Public space is something of a rarity in Saigon and while it might be a little bit of an exaggeration to claim that Turtle Lake is actually a lake, it is, at least, a moderately green, moderately watery area in which to rest. You’ll find this public area to be a melting pot of youth culture in Saigon. Young people park their bikes here and hang around for dates, meet their friends, and play games. All you’ll need to do is sit around and watch the interesting scenes unfold.

Tan Dinh Church

Not only is Tan Dinh Saigon’s largest church, it is also, undoubtedly, its pinkest. Built in 1876, Tan Dinh is a Romanian-style church that reaches 60 metres in height. It has two massive bell towers to ogle, along with Italian marble altars. For anyone that might be curious, the answer is yes. It’s pink on the inside, too.

Temple of the Buddha’s Relic

Temple of the Buddha’s Relic, also known as Xa Loi pagoda, is Buddhism HQ in southern Vietnam, making it a little bit more than your average pagoda. The area itself contains a library, bell tower, a shrine, a room selling Buddhist books, and other rooms with monks. A lot of monks. The pagoda officially opened in 1958.

War Remnants Museum

Much of Vietnam’s history has been strikingly violent, as highlighted by Saigon’s War Remnants Museum. As you might have guessed by the title, the museum is made up of leftover parts from different wars. There are the ‘tiger cages’, used by the South Vietnam government to keep their political prisoners; a guillotine, used by the French and South Vietnam government until 1960; a helicopter, a tank and plenty of ghastly photos of those who suffered by the hand of ‘Agent Orange’. Not for the feint-hearted.

Southern Women’s Museum

The role women have played throughout Vietnam’s history is prominent and obvious. From a matriarch grandma at a family gathering to the significance women played during the wars, the important role of women in Vietnam is undeniable. Learn about all that and more at the Southern Women’s Museum.

Exploring the Neighborhood Around Ngon Villa, Danang

Ngon Villa graces one of Danang’s most beautiful neighborhoods. Sandwiched between the ocean and the Han River, it makes a great central location to explore the serene streets of Danang. You’ll come across an abundance of the city’s heritage buildings when exploring Danang by foot. Historic pagodas and old French colonial buildings are found throughout the city, along with natural highlights like Danang’s tranquil beaches and lush protected forests.

My Khe Beach

Sitting around the corner from Ngon Villa is the stunning white sands and crystal-clear waters of My Khe Beach. Once listed in Forbes Magazine as one of the world’s ‘most luxurious beaches,’ My Khe caters to everyone, from sun-seekers to water sports enthusiasts.

East Sea Park

Many cities across Vietnam have little to offer in terms of greenery, but Danang boasts a variety of verdant, open spaces. East Sea Park is a great example of this. Nicknamed ‘Love Park’ for reasons that are obvious as soon as you step inside, Easy Sea Park is one of the many breathable parts of Danang, where you can, for a moment at least, forget you’re in a city of 1.1 million people. It’s a great place to sit and enjoy the sun or take part in one of life’s natural forms of entertainment: people watching.

Love Bridge Danang

Just because the previous park was known as ‘Love Park’ and this bridge is known as ‘Love Bridge’, it doesn’t mean that Danang is an exclusively romantic destination. Though it does look exceptionally nice at night and few can fail to feel the weight of love that hangs in the air on summer evenings in Danang.

Like bridges in Paris, Moscow, China and parts of the US, this bridge has become a destination for ‘love locks’, where couples ‘safeguard’ their love by attaching a lock to the bridge. If you’re with someone you love, come along and attach a lock. If you’re not, come along and scowl and those who are. Either way, it’s a nice bridge and well worth the walk.

Dragon Bridge

While it may be a bit of a walk away from Ngon Villa, it is a must-see attraction in Danang and you’ll want to make your way over there. Measuring 666 meters in length and resembling a very long golden dragon, Dragon Bridge has already captured the hearts of many an Instagrammer.

The bridge is a great place to visit any time of day, though for a particularly spectacular visit, you should head there in the evening. When it gets dark, the bridge is lit with LED lights and on weekends and during festivities the dragon breathes fire or spits water from its mouth from at 9pm.

Cham Museum

Though the Cham Museum is a little further away from Ngon Villa, if you’ve made your way across the Dragon Bridge, you’re right around the corner from it, in which case, it’s worth a visit. The Cham people, an indigenous culture to Vietnam, have roots dating back to 192 AD. The Cham Museum is a space dedicated to showcasing this culture and houses the largest exhibition of Cham sculptures in the world.

The Defining Dishes of Danang

Famous for its sandy beaches and freshly caught fish, Danang is the halfway point between northern and southern cuisine, though its flavors are distinctly its own.

Much like the fish cooked straight from the water, Ngon Villa has an emphasis on authentic, fresh cuisine. The menu is an all-you-can-eat style, with each dish being made to order. When visiting Ngon Villa, you can be sure to try all of the tastes of Danang in one place, and at the highest standard.

 Banh Trang

Banh trang is the base for an array of foods, a canvas for flavors that intertwine to make something that explodes with a sweet and savory taste. It’s simply a rice paper that, alone, is not much to look at, but can be dipped in sauces and set alight with various meats and vegetables.

At Danang’s own Ngon Villa, we like to incorporate hand-rolled pork and mixed local herbs into our banh trang, and pair it with a mam dipping sauce. Alternatively, we’ve got another local favorite: The sweet and sour marinated jackfruit with pork salad.

 Banh My

 This is, perhaps, one of the strongest food influences that the French had on Vietnam: The banh my. It has slowly broken out of Vietnam and crossed continents. Many people might recognize the banh my from as far away as malls in America, though it is hard to say whether it will ever be as good as the real thing.

In Danang we believe our local banh my, the banh my Quang Nam, is the finest banh my in all of Vietnam. But, of course, we’re a little biased.

Bun Cha Ca

 In some ways, bun cha ca is the defining dish of Danang. In part because of its popularity, but also because of the fresh fish available in the area. Made up of a combination of rice noodles and grilled fish, this dish bathes in a hearty broth.

You’ll find the freshly caught fish seasoned to perfection, and marinated in garlic and chilli before grilling. The rest of this fantastic soupy bowl consists of green onions, beansprouts and mint leaves, making a wholesome and refreshing meal.

Banh Xeo Hai San

 A dish that does exactly what it says it will, banh xeo translates to literally mean ‘sizzling cake,’ due to the sound it makes when the rice batter is poured onto the hot skillet.

This pancake isn’t the kind that you would drizzle maple syrup on though. As a savory pancake made out of rice flour, water and turmeric powder, it creates a delicious meal when stuffed with any array of meat and vegetables.

You’ll find a selection of noodles, chicken, pork, beef slices, onions and mushrooms in different versions of banh xeo. It should come as no surprise to find out that, here in Danang’s Ngon Villa, we like to use seafood for our banh xeo.


Just to set the record straight once and for all, we had to include a seafood section. It just wouldn’t be Danang without it. That’s why our signature dishes are full of the freshest soft shell crabs, oysters and squid.

All of our ingredients at Ngon Villa come from farmers markets, but in Danang, it’s hard to get an ingredient fresher than the fish. It comes straight from the bountiful ocean that we have the pleasure to be based on.

For a true taste of Danang, try our fresh spring rolls with squid and herbs, grilled oysters with spring onion salsa, or stir-fried soft shell crab with tamarind sauce – all available in our all-you-can-eat menu, making it possible to try everything.

Signature Dishes of Hoi An’s Ngon Villa

Hoi An is a city brimming with tradition and history, where its multicultural influences can be seen everywhere, from the wooden Chinese shop houses to its colorful French colonial buildings. Inside one of these grand old French homes sits Hoi An’s Ngon Villa, where fresh, locally farmed ingredients are mixed to create exquisite meals.

In Hoi An’s food, you’ll find an array of different influences and in Ngon Villa, you’ll find a unique take on them. Fortunately, at Ngon Villa, we have an all-you-can-eat style menu with all of our dishes made fresh to order, giving you the opportunity to try the best of everything.

Banh xeo mien trung: Da Nang rice pancakes with seafood

Being a port city, seafood comes as a matter of pride for those living in Hoi An. Along with our fresh greens, picked by hand and provided by local farmers, we go out of our way to get all of our seafood from the ocean to your plate as quickly as possible. These savory pancakes are full of the tastiest locally sourced seafood, along with plenty of those healthy greens.

Tom chien mam: stir-fried prawns with ‘mam’ sauce

Our prawns come straight from the ocean to our restaurant before being stir fried and served with a traditional ‘mam’ sauce. While the idea of stir-fried prawns may not be anything new to many diners, the traditional dipping sauce that they’re served with will be. ‘Mam’ sauce is a sweet and sour fish sauce, which plays the perfect partner to meat and fish dishes.

Vit nuong lu: grilled duck in herbal marinade

As a bustling port and central location for spice trade, Hoi An took many influences from its visitors. While the Chinese may have left a while ago, their duck stayed and maintained a prominent position in Vietnamese cuisine. Our grilled duck adds a Ngon Villa twist to the traditional duck recipe, grilled and combined with fresh herbs for a succulent dish.

Ngao nuong mo hanh: grilled clams with spring onion salsa

For this meal, we’ve taken another Hoi An specialty, our localy sourced grilled clams, straight from the ocean and added a refreshing twist: our chef’s special spring onion salsa.

When it comes to our grilled clams, we like to emphasise simplicity, we don’t want to take away from the fantastic tastes provided by the sea, so we let the clams do the work and compliment them with our very special spring onion salsa.

Che me den sua dua: sweet black sesame soup

Che – the quintessential Vietnamese dessert – is the perfect end to a meal. It can be light and refreshing when eaten cold with ice, or hearty and wholesome when eaten warm. Che can come with a range of ingredients, from the sweet (like jelly) to the unconventional (like beans and sweet potato). At Ngon Villa Hoi An, however, we like to go for a sweet black sesame.

Where to Have Lunch in Hoi An

Whether it’s a hearty bowl of noodles or a conventional western sandwich, Hoi An has your lunch covered. At our Ngon Villa, we serve a special all-you-can-eat menu, where our dishes are prepared fresh to order and our portions are smaller than a whole meal – perfect if you want to try a bit of everything for lunch.

 Mi Quang

While noodles for breakfast may seem like an odd choice for many westerners, in Vietnam it’s the go-to dish. In Hoi An, no breakfast noodle is more popular than mi quang. That doesn’t mean that they’re an exclusive breakfast dish though – a nice bowl of mi quang will often be pushed back to lunch.

What makes mi quang such a suitable breakfast or lunch dish though? Well, this bowl is perfectly crafted with thick cut mi quang noodles, a great balance of softness and chewiness, and covered with many delicious toppings, like pork, fresh lettuce, mint, and boiled quail eggs.

Banh My

You can’t say lunch in Vietnam without saying banh my. At first glance this is just a sandwich but in reality it is a lot more than that. This French inspired meal can come with a range of fillings, including egg, pate, chicken, pork, and each one is chock full of fresh vegetables and herbs.

At Ngon Villa in Hoi An, we’re very proud of our local ingredients, with all of the finest greens and meats delivered fresh to us by local farmers. That’s why we’ve called our dish ‘banh my Quang Nam’ – to show off all of the fresh produce that goes into it.

Hau Chien Gion

Located right on the sea, Ngon Villa Hoi An is able to source all seafood straight from the ocean. So, it wouldn’t be fair if we didn’t include at least one seafood dish. Our hau chien gion (deep-fried crispy oysters) are a perfect example. The chewy oysters enjoy a perfect balance of crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Cao Lau

No trip to Hoi An would be complete without trying a bowl of cao lau, because if you leave, you’ll never be able to try cao lau again! Yes, other places may have fake cao lau, but if it isn’t made with the waters from Hoi An’s famous Cham wells, then it isn’t real cao lau. This dish does everything a perfect lunch dish should: fills you up with great food, leaving you satisfied until dinner.

Exploring Hoi An’s traditional food market

Vietnamese food is diverse. It’s sweet, savory, sour and spicy, but there’s one thing every dish has in common – the freshness of the ingredients that go into it.

Hoi An is a fantastic example of this. On one side of the town is an abundance of rice paddies. On the other side is the sea, with a wealth of fish and seafood. The rice and fish, along with fresh vegetables and free-range chickens, are delivered to Hoi An’s markets every day, waiting to be hand picked by everyone, from high end restaurateurs and street food vendors, to local men and women choosing ingredients for their daily meals.

If you’d like to take a trip to the Hoi An market, bear in mind that it’s advised to get there before 7am. As the day moves on, the temperature will rise and the strong smell of the market will only get more pungent. More tourists will start to gather in the market, more loud voices will begin to permeate the area, and the market stall owners may start to disappear as they sell out of produce.

The market is just a stone’s throw from Viet Deli, so make sure you come back to the area for lunch or dinner.

Visiting the market in the morning

Visiting the Hoi An market in the morning provides a genuine insight into everyday life. If you get to the riverside before 7am you’ll be able to watch as the market unfolds. Enormous piles of colorful vegetables are found at every corner and the herbs and spices stalls make for excellent photo opportunities. Best of all is the fish and seafood area: customers and fishmongers, predominantly women, haggle animatedly for the freshest fish, shellfish, and molluscs aboard their modest stands.

Time to suit up? Be ready to barter

Away from the fresh fish, you’ll be hit with a mix of different, more alluring smells. Fragrant herbs and spices drift through the air, and an explosion of colors adorn the stalls, with a range of Vietnamese silk available. Prices towards the entrance tend to be inflated for tourists, so you’ll need to take a deep breath and head into the belly of the beast if you want a bargain.

Hoi An is renowned for its cheap tailoring and this is fuelled by the fabric market. The tailors are located in a section all their own, with a selection of fine silk tailors cheaper here than anywhere else in the city. For every purchase you make, however, be sure to haggle for the best deal and don’t be afraid to walk away.

Top 10 Things to Do in Hoi An

Dating back to the 15th century, this port was the heart of Vietnam’s trade for 400 years. Thanks to the preservation of the Old Town, Hoi An is teaming with historical architecture, with Chinese shophouses and temples, French colonial buildings, and ornate Vietnamese tube houses lining the streets. While public transportation within the city is sparse, walking or cycling will paint a unique and vivid picture of this ancient city.

Eat Cao Lau

This noodle dish is a must-eat for anyone visiting Hoi An, as the ingredients that go into it can only be sourced here. It may seem odd, but it is the water that makes them so unique. The lye water from the local Cham wells is full of ash, which comes from the wood of the Cham islands. The well itself is a well-kept secret, so you’ll just have to have some faith in your chef and enjoy these noodles while you’re here. You can find the best bowl of Cao Lau at Ngon Villa within the city.

Take a bike tour

Pushbikes are the main mode of transport inside the centre of Hoi An, as cars and motorbikes are banned. There are many places to rent bicycles and many English-speaking tour guides are willing to show you around. The surrounding area is full of charming villages, so all you need to do is hop on your bike and venture out through its narrow backstreet and alleyways until you reach the country lanes. From here you’ll be able to explore its lush landscape, full of rice paddies and winding waterways.

Hoi An barbeque

Street barbeque is a permanent fixture in Hoi An’s food scene, with small charcoal braziers lining the bank of the Thu Bon river after dark. Grilled pork, chicken or prawns make up the range of barbequed meats, along with some herbs and greens on the side to wrap in rice paper. At Ngon Villa, we’ve taken traditional Vietnamese street food and turned it into high-end cuisine, using the freshest products and recipes that have been handed down to us through generations. You can try our approach to the Hoi An barbeque, with our table BBQ experience.

Find the source of Vietnam’s fresh veg

The real key to Hoi An cuisine is the abundance of fresh vegetables available to us. Hoi An prides itself on local rice paddies and free range chickens. Many vegetables can be sourced from Tra Que, the small farming community between town and An Bang beach. Visitors are free to wander the farms and chat to the villagers.

Visit the spa

If you find yourself stuck indoors on one of Hoi An’s rainier days, or you just fancy indulging yourself in a bit of relaxation while you’re on holiday, check out one of Hoi An’s many spa and wellness centres. While many hotels and resorts offer their own spa treatments, Hoi An is full of local day spas, which may offer a more authentic experience.

Fix up look sharp

These days, one of the marks of Hoi An is its famously affordable tailoring services. The streets are littered with tailors, from small, family run businesses to larger, more corporate affairs. They all remain very cheap and quick though, and can often speak French and English, as well as Vietnamese. Your custom made suit or dress can usually be created and picked up within 24 hours, or delivered to your hotel.

Take a craft class

Along with Hoi An’s many tailors, a large portion of the shops are non-profit organizations, selling souvenirs made by disadvantaged and often disabled locals. You can support these causes in two ways: By buying the souvenirs, or joining the traditional Vietnamese painting or lantern-making classes that they hold.

Galleries and museums

For an insight into Hoi An’s rich culture, you can visit one of the many art galleries in the Old Town, where notable Vietnamese artists display their paintings and photography for sale. The larger portion of this work depicts traditional Vietnamese life. If that doesn’t take your fancy, however, you could try the Museum of Trade Ceramics or Hoi An Museum of History and Culture, for a different perspective of the town.

Scuba diving and snorkelling

With a rich sprawl of coral reefs and warm, tropical water, snorkelling and scuba diving are a must for the more adventurous traveler. There are hundreds of different varieties of tropical fish and coral lining the ocean floor in Hoi An, with the Cu Lao Cham Marine Park just 21km from Hoi An’s Old Town.

Take in the city on a walking tour

As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hoi An is teeming with history, through its colorful streets and grand designs. Another perk of Hoi An’s no-auto policy is the ability to take it all in on foot. The city has such an eclectic mix of architectural designs, across French, Japanese, Vietnamese and Chinese heritage buildings, all of which can be discovered simply by wandering around.

Hoi An’s Must-eat Dishes

Once a bustling trading port linking the orient and the occident, Hoi An’s specialties have been heavily influenced by the outside world and are unlike anything else in Vietnam. Shaped by Chinese, French and Japanese cuisine, tastes from the sea itself and the special water used within the dishes, Hoi An’s food has become totally unique to the province. Don’t leave Hoi An before trying these five must-eat dishes.

Cao Lau

A dish exclusive to this ancient melting pot, you can see its various influences within the bowl: the fat rice noodles are soft and yellow and resemble Japanese soba noodles, while the distinctly Chinese influence shows up in the stir-fried pork, which is marinated in star anise and cassia bark.

If you want a dish that defines Hoi An, this has to be it. This hearty bowl can only be created here as the noodles must be cooked using water from the ancient Cham wells. You can try Hoi An in a bowl at Ngon Villa in our all-you-can-eat menu.

Banh Xeo

There are many aspects that make Hoi An’s food so delicious and unique – as a location, it seems to have everything. One of the key elements, however, is the fresh greens and herbs produced in the rich soil in the province. At Ngon Villa we’ve decided to make a banh xeo that really shows off these succulent greens in our banh xeo cuan la cai, a crispy pancake made with local herbs.

As well as being stuffed full of veg, banh xeo shows off all of the fantastic meat nurtured within the province. The dish itself is a pancake made of rice flour, coconut milk and turmeric, which is then stuffed full of ingredients like vermicelli noodles, chicken, pork, or beef slices. The best way to eat banh xeo in Hoi An, however, has to be with shrimp.

Mi Quang

 Mi quang, which originates from the central province of Quang Nam, is so popular in its hometown that it is eaten at every possible occasion: parties, death anniversaries (sort of like the anti-birthday), Tet holiday, everything. It’s easy to see why this dish is so popular, too – it exemplifies all of the fantastic ingredients in the area. People claim that, unless it has hand-cut noodles, countryside chickens and water from the local well, it simply isn’t mi quang.

Mi quang starts with a bed of vegetables, then the yellow rice noodles are added, followed by the flavorsome bone broth, which is well seasoned and made out of fish sauce, shallots and garlic and finally topped with a variety of meats, herbs and local greens. While many people add a range of different meats, at Ngon Villa we like to stick to tradition and add pork and shrimp.

Com Ga Hoi An

Though it may appear to simply be your average rice and chicken dish, Hoi An’s com ga distinguishes itself from the rest simply by providing the tastiest rice and finest farm-raised chickens. Made up of a mix of pandan leaves, chicken stock, and turmeric, cam ga has the wood-fired clay ovens to thank for its pale yellow exterior.

At Ngon Villa, we understand that Hoi An’s com ga isn’t any old com ga, so when you come along, look for the proudly titled com ga Hoi An on the menu.

Hoi An’s Seafood    

Perhaps our finest produce, seafood in Hoi An is abundant and fresh due to the once thriving port that we dwell on. We’ve already spoken a bit about traditional dishes available in our Ngon Villa restaurants, so let’s take a minute to look at the fish you’ll find at Home in Hoi An.

We create our dishes with the same mentality that we put into our restaurants: A mix of comfort and tradition, with a focus on authenticity. We have a range of dishes, like wok-fried crab with chilli rock salt, steamed grouper with soya salt and deep-fried squid with tamarind sauce, delicately blended with local vegetables, created perfectly for a high-end, authentic meal.

Ngon Villa Hoi An: Where to Find Us

Down an alleyway, off of Bach Dang street and right next to Thu Bon River, sits one of Hoi An’s finest restaurants.

Cut up by canals, the architecture and style of this ancient port is a colorful mix of Chinese, French, Japanese and Vietnamese style, full of shophouses, temples, colonial buildings and ornate tube houses. Nestled inside a beautiful and well-kept 19th century French house is Ngon Villa, offering an out-of-the-ordinary dining experience in one of the finest buildings in town.

As our fantastic building is hidden away from the thoroughfare of the busier parts of Hoi An, it can sometimes be a challenge to find it. That’s why we’ve put together a list of directions for hungry travelers.

Where to Find Us

You’ll find Ngon Villa down alley 12, off of Bach Dang street. While public transport in Hoi An may be limited, you’ll likely be experiencing the city on foot or by Grab bike.

In order to find us on foot, head to Bach Dang street. If you pass Hoang Dieu bridge on your left (with the river on your left) look out for alley 12 on your right. If you pass it on your right, you’ve gone too far. Once you’ve found alley 12, walk an easy 50 metres down to number 12.

Similarly, if you head here by Grab bike or taxi, ask for alley 12, Bach Dang, then walk down the alleyway to number 12. Once you’re there, Ngon Villa will be easy to spot. Our yellow 19th century villa is full of traditional Vietnamese lamps, beckoning you in for a lovely meal of traditional Vietnamese food.

Like all hidden gems, Ngon Villa Hoi An is worth the effort.

9 Must-Have Dishes to Eat During Tet

Tet holiday, known as Lunar New Year through most parts of the world, is the biggest celebration in Vietnam. When it comes to Tet, nothing brings the family together quite like food, both the cooking and the consumption of it – it is, after all, the main event of the holiday.

You’ll find the whole family rubbing shoulders in the kitchen during the build-up to Tet. The customs of Tet are told mostly through the food, which is steeped in tradition and therefore central to Vietnamese culture during this festive period.

Sticky rice squared cake

No Tet dish carries as much significance as this savory rice cake. The story is regaled across Vietnam each year, often told while the sticky rice cake is being made, which takes some time. Following a victory over the Shang Dynasty in the 17th Century BC, the King gave his 18 sons one year to prepare their best dish, with the winner of the contest to become successor to the throne. His 18th son, too poor to travel in search of exotic ingredients, created two cakes of rice, pork and beans, emulating the sky and the earth. The youngest son won his father’s admiration and went on to become king, with his culinary legacy being celebrated by Vietnamese families every year since.

Boiled chicken

Simply prepared, a boiled chicken acts as a focal point for any Tet meal. It’s another dish that brings the symbolic weight of history and tradition to the table, for a boiled chicken is considered an emblem of purity. The finest chickens for Tet are bright red – a lucky color across East Asia – with smooth feathers and small legs. You’ll find many well decorated chickens out on display in family’s altars, with roses or trimmed carrots in their beaks.

Braised pork

Given the significance of food during the Tet holiday, cooking tends to take a lot of time, but it is a labor of love and always a worthwhile investment. Take the sticky rice cake for example; hours of work go into perfecting the dish and the braised pork is no different. With hours spent covering it in herbs and spices, braised pork is gently cooked over the course of a day to become extra tender and indulgent.

Fried spring roll

Though not exclusively reserved for the Tet holiday, these crispy bites make for perfect finger food, but they also serve as an ideal side dish during the Tet holiday dinner too.


It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the table at Tet can be a little heavy on the meat and somewhat lacking in the vegetable department. Fortunately, no Tet dinner would be complete without the traditional Tet salad, which incorporates plenty of traditional Vietnamese herbs and vegetables and, yes, more meat.

Vietnamese sausage

A Vietnamese sausage is undoubtedly a unique creation. A little different and a little surprising to anyone expecting a western style grilled sausage. Made from lean pork, potato starch, garlic, ground black pepper and fish sauce, the sausage is ground down into a patty and wrapped in banana leaves as an embodiment of all that is delicious and Vietnamese.

Soup with pork skin

For this unique dish, dried pigskin is left to soak in water, before being put in the refrigerator from anywhere between eight hours and three days. The skin is then removed and left to boil with an assortment of vegetables, such as cabbage or bok choy.

Soup with softened bamboo and pig’s trotters

So, you’ve used the skin, but you’ve still got the trotters lying around, that’s fine, there’s another soup that will be perfect to make the most of your pigs. While it may seem unusual to some, Vietnamese cuisine traditionally uses an array of ingredients, where nothing – especially from an animal – goes to waste.

Momordica cochinchinensis sticky rice (a.k.a Xôi Gấc)

You’ll be able to spot Xoi Gac easily due to the distinctive red color. The Gac fruit may have found its way to dinner tables around the world, but it was first discovered in Vietnam. The tradition of eating sticky rice with this bright red fruit is subsequently an absolute must for Tet.