I love to try new things as much as the next person, but sometimes, I obsess over tried and true favourites I must order, must eat or must buy! In Phnom Penh, I couldn’t get enough of the brownies at The Shop, the Kampot pepper chocolate at Chocolate by the Shop, the lasagne at Pop…the list goes on. Here in Saigon, I’ve also built up a repertoire of regulars I can’t live without (and yes, I realise they’re not exactly ‘Vietnamese’ foods but I think I take commonly available things for granted, seeking out rarer, more craveworthy things!). Current obsessions include:
Fanny icecream – particularly mint and choc chip and vanilla macadamia, and their seasonal Asian flavours like ginger and anise. This might be my overall favourite Vietnamese brand – of anything!
Pacharan – I must have the chorizo at least once a month (I know – so bad for food miles – it’s flown in from Spain). The gambas al pil pil (garlic prawns) are pretty addictive too.
Au Parc – nemisis cake, nemisis cake, nemisis cake – I must have eaten my weight in this decadent chocolate concoction since moving to Saigon. Or maybe even more.
Shang Palace – I’ve always loved yum cha (or dim sum as it’s known here), but Shang Palace has become something of an obsession. Though I’m off to Ocean Palace tomorrow (the one near the zoo) just to mix it up a little!
Da Vinci’s – a home delivered pizza place I’ve somehow only just cottoned onto. So good, and so much better than the other Italian places we’ve tried. My pick – the Greek pizza with olives and feta!
Saigon Square – the city’s answer to Phnom Penh’s Russian Market. I love trawling the crowded stalls for clothing bargains, like a check shirt I just got for a steal. Even better are the kids clothes, should you need them.
Kita Cafe – the coffee here (Lavazza – not Vietnamese, I know!) is the smoothest brew I’ve come across in the city. When I’m over my cafe sua da’s at local places I crave a Kita cappuccino.
L’Usine – any dessert. So far have tried their mini profiteroles with raspberry sauce, chocolate fudge cake and their latest addition – cupcakes! All… so… good!
Time is fast running out for getting my favourite food (and shopping) fixes here as I’m soon moving back to Sydney, where a whole world of gastronomic temptation awaits (yay!). In the meantime, I need to make the most of what I like best about Saigon (and block out the rest!).
Image courtesy of L’Usine