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“Amazing” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Huong Lai

Huong Lai
38 Ly Tu Trong St. Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
+84 8 3822 6814
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Ranked #44 of 1,660 Restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $7 - $15
Cuisines: Vietnamese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Romance, Local cuisine, Dining on a budget
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
North Vancouver, BC
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Amazing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2012 via mobile

Great mandate--helping under priveleged kids. Our poor waitress had a black eye. the service was way better than I expected, even better than a lot of places back home. Food was unreal. Must do!

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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418 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    230
    144
    34
    5
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Sao Paulo, SP
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Excelent food, high price”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

I went for the set menu and everything was really good. The purple soup was very interesting.

Desert was a tiny plate of fruits, though.

Next time I would rather order separate dishes.

Service was impeccable.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ringwood, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
“Worth a visit for many reasons”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

Training kids to give them a future with a hand up rather than a hand out is hugely commendable.
Food, service and prices are very good, thoroughly deserves a visit and your support, you will not be disappointed.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
“Five star concept and service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2012

Outstanding service and a brilliant concept, this restaurant deserves five stars for it's initiative. The food is very edible - it's not fantastic but it's certainly not bad and is very well priced. Definitely worth a visit!

  • Visited October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Top Contributor
126 reviews 126 reviews
76 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“Average food, but fantastic setting and service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

We went to this restaurant because of the glowing reviews on Trip Advisor, and we were not disappointed. The restaurant was beautiful, the service attentive and cheerful, and the food was good (although not great, more on this later).

First of all, I'd like to commend this restaurant on their cause. Not many people would even think about giving back to the community while making good food and giving patrons a great dining experience. The service staff were very attentive and genuinely happy to be there, not something you see every day.

The restaurant is set on the second floor of a beautifully preserved colonial house, with charming staircase, wooden floors, and mood lighting. It was the perfect setting for a romantic dinner for two, but I was there with a bunch of noisy friends so the romance will have to wait. Other patrons were (curiously) mostly Japanese, and the manager was also Japanese. Perhaps this place is on a Japanese guidebook for Saigon or something. Maybe this explains the toned-down, clean-flavored, fresh food they serve--very reminiscent of Japanese food.

The food was not what I expected at all. All the Vietnamese food I've had so far has been a lot more liberal in their use of herbs and spices, while keeping to the freshness and lightness of the cuisine. Huong Lai's version is a lot more restrained. I could taste the herbs and spices, but they're very mild, and added just to enhance the natural, fresh flavors of the ingredients. Very much like Japanese cuisine. It's good, but when I go to a Vietnamese restaurant in Saigon, I would much prefer full-flavored food.

The most notable dish I had was the stir-fried edible flowers of some sort, they were so fresh and flavorful. We also ordered the tofu and chives soup (too bland for my palate), sweet and sour shrimps (not very Vietnamese), stewed pork belly (again, very Japanese, almost like a sweeter, thicker buta kakuni). The fresh summer rolls were very good though, probably the most Vietnamese-flavored dish on the table.

I'd recommend this restaurant for those who are still new to Vietnamese/Southeast Asian cuisine in general. It's a very good introduction to Vietnamese food.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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