In Ho Chi Minh City, commonly referred to as Saigon, the food is uniquely its own. Heavy influences from China and a close proximity to the ocean, along with the bustling, fast developing world of any metropolitan area, has created a cuisine of sweet, savoury, rich and delicious food. Here are four must-eats in Vietnam’s largest city.

Ca Kho To Mien Tay

Clay pots are a big part of southern cuisine. Ingredients are added slowly for up to an hour to create a southern style stewed fish, simmering in earthenware pots, absorbing moisture and creating a rich, caramelized sauce. This is classic comfort food in the south and can come with fish, seafood, pork, or tofu. Indulge in a pot of this caramelized fish at Home Finest.

Vit Nuong Lu

Saigon might be far from China, but the Chinese have had huge influence on Saigon cuisine. Roast duck is a great example. Usually Peking duck is what comes to mind, and with a history in China that dates back to the 4th century, it’s no surprise.

These days, roast duck is a hugely popular dish in southern Vietnam, eaten largely as a takeout dish, to celebrate holidays, ancestral worships, and death anniversaries. You can try the traditional duck, with its thin and crispy skin and moist meat, at Home Finest.

Canh Chua Ca Nam Bo

Similar to fish cooked in clay pots, the sweet taste of the caramel in this dish plays an important role. Unlike the fish cooked in clay pots, however, this dish comes in a hearty soup.

A lot of visitors will imagine soup is saved for the winter, but down in southern Vietnam, it doesn’t ever get cold. Not to worry though, this fish soup stays delicious even when the weather is hot, has provides plenty of fresh herbs to keep it refreshing. Head over to Chopsticks to claim a bowl for yourself.

Che Ba Ba

Considering the hot weather in Ho Chi Minh City, you’ll want nothing more than to indulge in an ice-cold bowl of che (though you can also eat it warm.) Even though we translate che ba ba to ‘southern sweet soup’ on our menu, don’t be fooled into thinking its something like the canh chua ca nam bo, as outlined about. Che is a popular dessert in Vietnam and the “soup” element is made out of coconut milk. So, if you want cooling down, make sure you check out the che at Chopsticks.

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