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Next Time You are in Ho Chi Minh

Posted by Michael on Jul 31, '08 9:53 AM for everyone

Everytime I’m in Ho Chi Minh (formerly Saigon),Vietnam, my first stop is always the famous streetside banh xeo (Vietnamese pancakes) restaurant.  I have now added a new stop to my Ho Chi Minh routine – Cua Dong.  Cua Dong is quite possibly one of the best restaurants in all of Vietnam.

The owner/manager/chief cook/waiter and man behind the restaurant is none other than our friend Hugh.  Hugh has been to the Philippines a few times in the past and is now the proud owner of the hottest restaurant in the city.  His place is always packed full of customers during lunch and dinner.  He frequently has to turn customers away for lack of space.  

What sets Cua Dong apart is that all the dishes are flavored with field crab (“talangka” in Filipino).  It’s incredibly good.  The best seller is the soup which includes field crab meat, noodles, veggies, and a lot of other stuff (see photo on right).  Everything we tried was excellent – spring rolls, chili crab, beef, soup, veggies, etc.  Hugh found a niche when he opened his restaurant which serves northern Vietnamese country food.  No other restaurant in the city offers his delicacies.  Check Cua Dong's multiply site here and see photos of the menu.

Hugh has always been a good cook and had this dream of opening a restaurant.  Two years ago, he happened to share his idea with a Japanese client/friend who recognized the potential.  Hugh gave him a taste test and the Japanese immediately provided the capital.  Since opening two years ago, Hugh and his restaurant has been regularly featured on local tv and newspapers.  He rented a stall on a busy street and just expanded last week by renting the adjoining stall (he will move across the street in Feb '09).  Famous local celebrities are a common sight in Cua Dong.

The next time you are in Ho Chi Minh, make sure you drop by Cua Dong and share in the success of our good friend Hugh.  Be treated to a delicious and authentic Vietnamese experience.

Cua Dong
"Everything is crab"
18A/5 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai
P. Dakao Q1
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
tel. 8246825 or 6124245

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