If you haven’t been to Badhja yet, you won’t know that I’m paraphrasing their menu when I write: “If you’re someone who likes a mix of flavours, you will appreciate Algerian cuisine. It represents a fusion of North African, Arabic, Spanish, Moorish, Italian, Turkish, Jewish, Catalan, Sicilian and French influences.

As a cheese lover — nay, a cheese addict — I felt it was my duty to visit Le Padam, a cheese bar in District 2, which offers some of the best cheese you can find in Saigon. Owned by a French-Vietnamese couple, Cyrille and Ann, this new and unique French bistro emerged in the Saigon food scene a few months ago with the aim to offer some quality cheese — up to 14 different kinds — in a refined yet simple atmosphere.

Vietnamese youth love their ice cream. Who hasn’t been stuck in a traffic jam on Thanh Nien street, caused by lines of people buying the frozen confection? They love it almost as much as they love Korean culture and K-pop. Pow Pow combines these two loves, and throws in a pinch of America as well.

Mezz interior

It is rare that we write about buffet restaurants. Not that there’s anything wrong with them — when it comes to the dining options, their offerings range from the average to the phenomenal.

Le Jardin. Photo by Julie Vola 

Noey Neumark heads to recently opened Le Jardin. With a motorbike loving, InterCon chef at the helm, is it as good as the hype? Photos by Julie Vola

Upstairs at Relish & Sons. Photo by Kyle Phanroy

Show me a man who hasn’t waxed lyrical about a pattie of meat and two bits of bun in his hand, and I’ll show you a man who hasn’t lived. A good burger is simply good food, so it’s no surprise that it’s been on the surge here for a while in food-loving Vietnam. Yet, far from being sated, in Ho Chi Minh City the public’s hunger for a high quality and still affordable burger option has remained. Enter Relish & Sons.

Stepping into the dining room of Spices Garden, the Metropole Hotel’s Vietnamese restaurant, one is enveloped in Indochine elegance, from the dark wood furniture reminiscent of yesteryear to suspended silk lanterns in subdued hues. The service mirrors the ambiance — thoughtful, unobtrusive and charming.

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