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“A Good Meal and a Good Cause” 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 #28 of 1,486 Restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City
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
Turkey
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“A Good Meal and a Good Cause”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

This bistro in a loft has a very traditional French Indochine atmosphere, but the food is pure top quality Vietnamese cuisine. The staff are disadvantaged kids many taken from the streets of Saigon. They are given a home, education, some basic life skills and a chance to make a career in catering. In summary they are given hope. These youngsters learn and execute top class management and service skills. They are delightful to meet. The food is excellent but be aware it is very traditional Vietnamese cuisine and some may not be totally to a foreign palate. But that is not the point here. You get to experience the real thing and meet some inspirational young people. Don't forget to talk to them! We will go here ever time we visit Sagon.This is our third visit.

Visited February 2013
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336 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    187
    114
    27
    4
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
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Bangkok, Thailand
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
71 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
“Nice relaxing setting though a bit pricey”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

Surprisingly some of the top-rated restaurants in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh) are of foreign cuisine--not that it's a bad thing, just that for our first stop of an 8-day trip to Vietnam, we wanted to start off with a nice authentic Vietnamese experience. On hind sight now we finised the entire trip, Huong Lai is a bit pricey and the portion is small for Ho Chi Minh and Vietnam in general but the food was so good in a very unassuming fashion. The braised pork ribs has a very homey feel to it. For those who are aventurous enough to try bitter melon, Huong Lai's bittermelon dish with eggs is truly excellent--so excellent that we ended up ordering 2 of them! Wish they had more restrooms--one uni-sex restroom to share among the whole restauarant was a bit ridiculous if you are trying to get to visit some places.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Shanghai, China
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Good ambience, basic food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013 via mobile

Beautiful restaurant, with good service but the meal I had was fairly basic and not outstanding, which was surprising. I had a veggie tofu dish which may have been part of the issue, but still, to be honest I had almost the same dish the next day in a greasy spoon in the domestic terminal of Saigon airport and it was better!! On a positive note, the ice cream is excellent!

    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Canberra, Australia
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Delightful staff serving delicious food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013 via mobile

We headed to Huong Lai after reading reviews and it certainly lived up to its reputation. The staff were delightful and the food amazing. We had the set prawn menu which gives you three options for virtually every course. As there were only two of us, this option allowed us to savor a variety of flavours that we usually can't do. The set menu provided more than enough food! It was difficult to pick a highlight dish. Tamarind is always a favourite for us, and this version was interesting in its balance of sweet against the sour of tamarind. The purple yam soup was something I normally would not order, but was refreshing and I'm pleased it we included it in our choices. The logan ice cream was light and refreshing at the end of the meal.

The setting is rustic and pleasant. The staff are wonderful. We were served by a number of trainees who were very diligent and the positive support they were getting from management was impressive. A wonderful evening!

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Balmain, Australia
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“In a word.. Great.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

Our second visit to Huong Lai was much like our first 2 years ago, excellent. The owner made us feel welcome and kept the cold beer coming. Food was great as was the service provided by the 'trainees'. All up, a great restaurant.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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