Meals, Meals and extra Meals

The Ben Thanh Avenue Meals Market, one of many liveliest locations for meals & drinks within the metropolis

When you get to Thu Khoa Huan Avenue there’s no lacking Ben Thanh Avenue Meals Market. There’s a big signal above the doorway, glowing brightly, whereas beneath it’s the bustle of motorbikes being parked. Behind a row of motorbikes are a lot of wood picnic tables with individuals consuming and conversing, and past that, virtually 40 foodstalls boasting an unlimited array of cuisines. It’s right here, beneath a excessive cover, the place you’ll discover one thing for everybody: pho, banh can, bun cha, mi quang and banh xeo. There are additionally Indian, Korean, Japanese stir-fry, Italian, Thai, American and way more. There’s even an oyster bar stand and C16 Station, which gives chili cheese canine and French fries. There are additionally drink kiosks the place you may have a cocktail, wine or take pleasure in a bottle or draft from one in every of Saigon’s native craft breweries. And for teetotalers, there are natural juice and recent fruit juice choices. For these with a candy tooth, there’s ice cream served as nicely.

As I walked in the very first thing I observed was the thrill coming from the tables. There have been vacationers of various nationalities sitting side-by-side, strangers having fun with their meals and conversing with each other. Sitting at separate tables we frequently select to not work together with unfamiliar individuals, however sitting on the similar tables elicits communication amongst individuals of divergent backgrounds. For a vacationer it’s an amazing alternative to talk with native Vietnamese, and for the Vietnamese, a possibility to welcome them whereas working towards their English. There’s additionally seating within the again in addition to in an upstairs space. All instructed, the three seating areas comprise sufficient seating for roughly 250 individuals.

I began by meandering and searching the rows. As soon as I had seen all of it it was time to make some selections. The very first thing I attempted was a roasted pork sandwich with a bun fabricated from that very same fluffy pastry of a banh bao. I additionally ordered corn fritters from the identical stall, referred to as Received Bun. The entire for each was just below VND100,000. They gave me a quantity marker to take to my desk. I discovered one within the again the place there was extra room and as I waited for them to organize it I went to a stall close to the entrance referred to as Ibia and selected a bottle of East West IPA to go together with it. For VND75,000 a bottle, this can be a native IPA that rivals any you’d get from an American brewery.

Banh CanBanh BaoCorn Fritters

The IPA was chilly and filling, whereas the pork within the sandwich was succulent and tender. For a sandwich fan, this can be a nice alternative and a particular strive, a pleasant fusion between Western model sandwiches and banh bao. The corn fritters had been fried to perfection, a darker brown across the edges for crispness with a golden brown within the center for chewiness, and sprinkled with salt and cinnamon. Subsequent time I’m in District 1 I’ll be heading again for an additional spherical of fritters and pork.

Grill rooster with rice

Quickly the scent of rooster and pork ribs grilling wafting by the market referred to as me. I ordered two plates, one from Station BBQ with barbequed pork ribs that got here with grilled corn on the cob and coleslaw for VND150,000, and the opposite plate from Rooster BBQ, a grilled rooster leg and thigh with rice for VND100,000. The ribs had been thick, the meat tender and the corn recent, with a contact of grill marks. The grilled rooster was juicy, ample and the marinade refined and savory. This rooster rivaled any that you simply’d get at one of many a lot larger priced BBQ eating places within the metropolis.

Ribs with corn

I took a break in any case that meat, ending my IPA and ordering one other earlier than I went for my closing spherical, a stall on the entrance referred to as F3. This can be a Japanese stir-fry the place you select from quite a lot of noodle sorts or rice, and you then select your greens, meat, sauce and extra to create your personal customized stir-fry. I selected a skinny rice noodle with broccoli, carrots and onions, tossed with shrimp and a ginger teriyaki sauce. It was as delectable because it sounds, with layered flavors and fairly priced at round VND100,000 relying in your choices.

Ben Thanh Avenue Meals Market is a superb expertise with quite a lot of nice meals decisions, which is why it’s listed within the prime 15 of 205 issues to do in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis on TripAdvisor. Each Tuesday and Saturday evening from 7:30 to 9:30 there’s dwell music with a Vietnamese band taking part in Western covers.

Ben Thanh Avenue Meals Market is positioned at 26-28-30 Thu Khoa Huan Avenue and is open each day from 9am to 12am. For more information, verify them out on Instagram and Fb: @BenThanhstreetfoodmarket