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“A Good Meal and a Good Cause” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Huong Lai

Huong Lai
Ranked #21 of 2,760 Restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $7 - $15
Cuisines: Asian, Vietnamese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Families with children, Special occasions, Large groups, Dining on a budget, Romantic, Local cuisine
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Turkey
Level Contributor
32 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“A Good Meal and a Good Cause”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 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
Helpful?
Thank Turkish_Hotelier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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673 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    384
    217
    58
    9
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
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
Bethesda, Maryland
Level Contributor
157 reviews
97 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
“Nice relaxing setting though a bit pricey”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 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
Helpful?
Thank GreatFoodisHeaven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shanghai, China
Level Contributor
23 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 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
Helpful?
Thank Doarehtno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
152 reviews
85 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 61 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!

Helpful?
Thank Deb T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Balmain, Australia
Level Contributor
22 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 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
Helpful?
Thank jonnybee71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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