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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Cuc Gach Quan

One of the best meals that we had on our trip was also one of the first. On our first full day in Vietnam, after a long day of touring the Cu Chi Tunnels and the rest of Ho Chi Minh we were hungry for some authentic Vietnamese food.

Enter, Cuc Gach Quan

I actually found this restaurant through TripAdvisor.  I usually consult trip advisor for restaurants, hotels and things to do, but tend to take its recommendations and comments with a grain of salt. Since, however, I didn't know squat about dining in HCMC I took TA's word for it and booked the #1 restaurant they recommended.

chopsticks anyone?
We were not disappointed.

The restaurant is in an old French colonial house, down a small side street and hidden from the masses that roam the streets of HCMC.  Walking in the front door is like walking in to an old friends home - immediately familiar and comfortable. We ate in one of the front rooms, it could have been a living room or a front sitting room if the tables and chairs were replaced with sofas.

The menu was extensive, not only broken down in to courses but also broken down by type of food (appetizers, mains, then down to vegetables, chicken, pork, etc etc). We picked a couple of things off the menu and then asked our server what he recommended.  Happily, he steered us in the right direction.

The food was, in a word, amazing.

The spring rolls - so fresh. The soft shelled crab - so light and crispy. The tiger beer - came with ice.

Did that throw you? Yeah me too. Who knew - ice in beer is a good thing. Especially when its 90* and 99% humidity.

can you spot the iced beer in the background?
It was a tough job, but someone had to do it.


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