No one in their right travel-savvy mind will admit that they have a little bit of fear for street food, including myself. I will fight to the death of every food debate to insist that street food is the best sensory experience to exist in the Vietnam journey, without blinking a lash, while secretly packing away Pedialyte powder and enough Immodium to pacify the tummies of a small village.
It’s not a complete lie either to say that I will do anything for really good street food, including squatting in a short dress in 90+ degree weather, slurping on hot & spicy soup while perspiring enough sweat to add favor to the bite I’m swallowing. If you think that’s disgusting, I’m probably quietly judging you for not being an authentic street food lover.
There are times though, when squatting on the streets just isn’t ideal, like when you’re trying to catch up with childhood friends you haven’t seen for 20 years or when you’re trying to have a first romantic brunch with your Mr. in your home country. These are the times that I’m thankful for Saigon having restaurants like Quán Ngon.
The atmosphere of this eatery is beautiful, set inside an airy two-story villa-style property on the swanky avenue of Pasteur. Silk tents cascading over tables circle around a peaceful pond in the middle, it’s hard to believe there’s such an oasis in hectic Ho Chi Minh.
There are food stands all around the restaurant, replicating the street food experience with the safety of culinary gentrification and prices to match. The food is good and there are plenty of dishes too authentic for my Las Vegas chinatown to offer. I confess to love the air-conditioning, frugal but enough to enjoy my bún mắm. The Mr. claims the egg rolls are the best he’s ever had, the quality of the rice paper superb and the fillings are made of never-frozen-before meats and seafood. If you’re in District 1, it’s definitely worth a visit.