Xu – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Hello all, sorry for the hiatus. I flew home yesterday after a month-long SE Asia trip, and now have lots of photos to share! This post is of a modern Vietnamese restaurant/lounge we went to in Saigon the first night we were there. I liked the contemporary twist on traditional dishes, but the next couple days we dined at homier places and had delicious food too for like a tiny fraction of the price of Xu (we’re talking 2 drinks, 3 appetizers and 2 entrées coming out to less than $13.. it was hard to eat fancy after seeing that equation).

Papaya salad with dried beef. I’m obsessed with the elements of raw fruits or veggies in Vietnamese cuisine. There’s always a sprig of cilantro, squeeze of lime, or some fresh mint and basil to liven up the dish.

Crispy soft shell crab with mam ruoc mayonnaise and cauliflower salad. I’ve also been obsessed with soft shell crab in its whole form this trip, I ate it every time I saw it on a menu. I know some people can’t do the legs poking out of your mouth type thing but I don’t get the jitters. Usually I consume them in the form of spider rolls but never as a whole.. I love that I don’t have to crack any shells or dig for meat. I don’t like to work too hard for my food which means my patience usually wears before I can even get a sliver out of a hard shell crab. To do: stalk down local soft shell crab suppliers.

Coconut braised pork belly with pickled red cabbage and caramelized daikon. Unpictured is a dish we ordered called bo la lot, which is a la lot leaf wrapped with minced beef. Was probably just too hungry and devoured upon reception before snapping a photo.

Bite size dessert platter L-R: yogurt mousse with Vietnamese honey, durian tiramisu, Vietnamese banana cake, sticky rice with durian, sugar and cinnamon soursop parcel, and coconut che with mango and tapioca.


  1. August 30, 2011 / 8:01 am

    wonderful photos!! this place looks fantastic!! and the food looks so delicious <3

  2. August 30, 2011 / 9:24 am

    What I wouldn't give to be in Vietnam enjoying the culinary delights right now!!!

    Look forward to seeing more photos.

  3. August 30, 2011 / 11:35 am

    I loveeee Viet food. Have a mass craving for soft shell crab now haha 🙂 You look gorgeous in the second last photo!


  4. August 30, 2011 / 10:32 pm

    you have a nice blog!
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    miriamstella (from italy)

  5. August 31, 2011 / 2:34 am

    I feel the same way. When I was in Korea, I loved eating at the $5 soup + rice/noodle shops way more than going out to the posh Gangnam/Apku area. Doesn't matter how much effort you put into the presentation when it costs $50 to feel full. You should stop in Seoul the next time you go to Asia.

  6. August 31, 2011 / 4:47 pm

    yumm this all looks so good! glad you're back and that you had an amazing trip, can't wait to see the photos!

    <3 Alison

  7. September 1, 2011 / 2:01 am

    You look beautiful! I miss HCMC… Actually I miss all of South East Asia. Sigh.

  8. Jojo
    September 4, 2011 / 12:39 am

    carolyn- it looks amazing!! u and the food 🙂 bahahha.

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