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“A must in Saigon”
Review of An Vien Restaurant

An Vien Restaurant
Ranked #511 of 3,860 Restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Vietnamese
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Reviewed February 6, 2012

Eat at An Vien every time I visit HCMC....great food and atmosphere. The crab with vermicelli is outstanding....but hard to go wrong with anything on the menu.

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    • Food
Thank lbhk007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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45 - 49 of 79 reviews

Reviewed January 27, 2012

loved the setting there... romantic yet got a sense of old Vietnam
the food was great we went there twice in 3 days.

Thank QTSBee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 20, 2011

The food was very nice, but it's not what I remember.

It's the cosy, private setting and the perfect 1920's indochine deco.
Quiet ambiance is a nice change from the noise of Saigon.

Thank LeTwan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2011

About half way down a dead-end nondescript alley you will find the charming entrance to this jewel. You step out of one reality into another atmosphere altogether: the contrast of the typical third-world alley and this French Colonial setting is stunning. The interiors offer an aesthetic ambiance conducive to elegant dining without the snobbery and superficiality of Paris waiters and its pretentious cafes. The menu is interesting with up-scale prices. However, the quality and presentation of the food merits the high-end prices.

But be warned: there is a charge for every detail such as napkins! And you have to be adamant about whether or not you want the very extortionate price of bottled water or the more reasonable still water. The charm and fantasy of the establishment was pricked by the unexpected charge for using a napkin and the delivery of an opened unordered bottle of water, which was rejected as being tourist trap items.

In these tourist encrusted cafes diners are pressured/embarrassed into accepting an open bottle of water which was probably refilled from the tap anyway. The management must be Italian as this tourist gauging system is prevalent in Rome.

These dodgy practices have a way of desecrating such charming but tourist gouging venues usually eventually closing them which would be a shame with this elegant dining establishment.

All the dishes actually ordered were excellent and the service actually improved when the staff realized that you knew what they were up to with the ersatz water.

All-in-all, the visit was worth it and next time I will again refuse to pay for a napkin and unwanted water but enjoy the food and ambiance anyhow.

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Thank Navalator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 6, 2011

Location:
A few meters from a main street in District 1, easy to find.

Atmosphere/Decor:
Enter the restaurant through a circular doorway/gate and arrive in a dimly (candle) lit, cozy dining room, forgetting that the outside is still broad daylight. After being seated, I think to myself this is a fancy restaurant. Lots of Chinese furniture and artifacts throughout the property, inside and out on all three floors, Chinese screens, paper fans, Limoges. All table service is matching classical Chinese-style Celadon produced by a famous Vietnamese ceramics firm. Maroon table and napkin linens.

Service:
Despite the waiters' limited English, they were very attentive and made an effort to serve. Cold, fragrant towelettes were presented before the meal (unknowingly charged until I analyzed the bill). While lotus tea was served after the meal, I didn't realize that the cup was constantly being refilled silently (ALSO, unknowingly charged until I received the bill)

Food/Cost/Quality:
Each dish that we ordered arrived very delightfully presented on the matching Celadon china service. For appetizer, we ordered fresh spring rolls (six pieces 192,000VND ~ 9.6USD) which tasted quite mediocre, not terribly exciting. For entrees: we ordered sweet/sour soup with prawns (165,000VND ~ 8.25USD) which was very tasty, but the annoying part was shelling the prawns ourselves; chicken stir fried with ginger and lemongrass (155,000VND ~ 7.75USD), which was absolutely scrumptious; stir-fried mimosa blossoms with beef (145,000VND ~ 7.25USD), which was also very well seasoned; very tasty. All together considering the presentation and quality of the food, the price seemed reasonable.

Conclusion: I would definitely go back to this restaurant, probably not on a whim, but on a special occasion. I wouldn't suggest this restaurant to people traveling on a shoe-string budget, it's not cheap.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
1  Thank cjkfung
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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