The Ben Thanh Road Meals Market, one of many liveliest locations for meals and drinks within the metropolis
When you get to Thu Khoa Huan Road there’s no lacking Ben Thanh Road Meals Market. There’s a big signal above the doorway, glowing brightly, whereas under it’s the bustle of motorbikes being parked. Behind a row of motorbikes are a lot of wood picnic tables with folks consuming and conversing, and past that, nearly 40 foodstalls boasting an enormous 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 affords chili cheese canines and French fries. There are additionally drink kiosks the place you’ll be able to have a cocktail, wine or take pleasure in a bottle or draft from considered one of Saigon’s native craft breweries. And for teetotalers, there are natural juice and contemporary 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 seen 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 folks, however sitting on the similar tables elicits communication amongst folks of divergent backgrounds. For a vacationer it’s a terrific 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 advised, the three seating areas comprise sufficient seating for roughly 250 folks.
I began by meandering and shopping 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 manufactured from that very same fluffy pastry of a banh bao. I additionally ordered corn fritters from the identical stall, known as Acquired Bun. The whole for each was slightly 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 known as Ibia and selected a bottle of East West IPA to go along with it. For VND75,000 a bottle, it is 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, it is a nice alternative and a particular strive, a pleasant fusion between Western fashion sandwiches and banh bao. The corn fritters have 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 via the market known 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 have been thick, the meat tender and the corn contemporary, with a contact of grill marks. The grilled rooster was juicy, ample and the marinade refined and savory. This rooster rivaled any that you just’d get at one of many a lot increased 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 known as F3. This can be a Japanese stir-fry the place you select from quite a lot of noodle varieties or rice, and then you definitely 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 Road Meals Market is a superb expertise with a variety of nice meals selections, which is why it’s listed within the high 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 stay music with a Vietnamese band enjoying Western covers.
Ben Thanh Road Meals Market is positioned at 26-28-30 Thu Khoa Huan Road and is open day by day from 9am to 12am. For more information, verify them out on Instagram and Fb: @BenThanhstreetfoodmarket