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Review of Huong Lai

Huong Lai
Ranked #23 of 3,283 Restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $7 - $15
Cuisines: Vietnamese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Families with children
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
North Vancouver, BC
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
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!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank therealmule
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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800 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Sao Paulo, SP
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Excelent food, high price”
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.

1 Thank Erik T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ringwood, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
129 reviews
79 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“Worth a visit for many reasons”
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
    • Value
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Thank PaulM47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
85 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Five star concept and service”
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
    • Value
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level 6 Contributor
130 reviews
76 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Average food, but fantastic setting and service”
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
    • Value
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2 Thank irenenevada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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