Lunch at the mosque

Saigon’s central mosque is an old-world outpost in the the centre of the city, and once in the grounds you feel a world away from the city’s noise and traffic-clogged streets.

The mosque was built in 1935 by south Indian traders, and today the inner courtyard is home to a fantastic (and cheap!) restaurant that’s not only a peaceful spot but serves up delicious fare – Southern Indian with a Malaysian twist.

The vegetarian curries in particular reminded me alot of the single-veg dishes we ate (and loved) while travelling around Sri Lanka, such as the savoury green beans cooked with curry leaves and mustard seeds. The okra curry and the potato cubes had a real Sri Lankan taste too, while the paratha (bread) was distinctly Indian. We tried a mildly-spiced beef curry in addition to all the veg, but the fried chicken was the real standout with its crispy, tangy tasting skin (providing more travel flashbacks – this time of Penang).

Great food aside, I loved the faded blue walls, old bicycles and rustic outdoor kitchen at the mosque. Very atmospheric – and highly authentic.

The central mosque, 66 Dong Du Street, D1, Saigon

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6 Responses

  1. Cate February 14, 2009 / 1:39 pm

    interesting post,it never occurred to me there would be mosques in Saigon, but then again why not. Love the photo of the bikes.

  2. jen laceda February 18, 2009 / 6:00 pm

    Great photographs!! I love the photo of the faded wall and bikes. It actually kind of remind me of Havana…

  3. Xander February 18, 2009 / 7:03 pm

    That little mosque curry shop is such a fantastic spot– not only for the delicious food, but for the great colors of the setting. You’re definitely making me miss Saigon… -X

  4. A Girl in Asia February 19, 2009 / 1:43 am

    Hi Jen – yeah it does kind of look like somewhere in Latin America!

  5. Baron's Life April 12, 2009 / 8:53 pm

    I love the south east asian food…it’s so delicious and an acquired taste to some taste buds…lol
    The old mosque looks great.

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