Are they drying tomatoes here?
Category Archives: District 4
Sometimes you may find yourself with friends in a vietnamese restaurant that seems to have NOTHING meatless. If you find yourself in such a situation (if they don’t have even salads or vegetable side-dishes), you may want to get some white rice and Đậu hũ chiên sả ớt. This means Fried Tofu with Lemongrass and Chili. I really liked this, and it was one of the most inexpensive choices on the menu. The only downside is that you may get tired of the taste by the end – the taste is exotic, unique, strong (but not spicy on its own). I suggest you share this dish with others and try to find some other things to eat along with it like white rice, water spinach, or even beer-nuts. 😉
This Đậu hũ chiên sả ớt was from a canal-side garden restaurant/beer-hall on Tôn Thất Thuyết Street on the south border of district 4 (near the intersection with Tôn Đản Street).
Here is a little map of D4-Saigon and its Cơm Chay eateries. There might be a few left that I haven’t discovered, but there can’t be many more than this (July 2011), because I have really searched hard by foot, bicycle, xe om — you name it. I have not included the cafes and restaurants that have some veggie items (or even veggie pages). For sake of map clarity, only the true vegan/veggie places of the vietnamese variety have been included. More info about these eateries are in the “Veggie Venue” list tab.
Tiệm Cơm Chay “Âu Lạc”
60 Tân Vĩnh Street; District 4, Ward 6.
I’m kicking myself for overlooking this place for three months! This is a spacious, clean, friendly and affordable little place that I can easily recommend to all you vedge-heads. It is just over the Ong Lanh Bridge from D1. I was pretty much passing it almost every day when riding into D1. If you are on a bike or in a car coming over the bridge (Cau Ong Lanh), you will need to double back because the street that brings you from the bridge to Tan Vinh street is divided.
Not only was the food good and fresh in this roomy relaxing cafeteria, but they also have large amounts of vegan products that you can buy and take home.
They have , just as examples:
- Vegan fish sauce
- Vegan deer meat, fish, squid, pork, chicken, shredded meat, etc etc
- Vegan hot dogs
- Vegan canned products
Trà Sữa Trân Châu is a colorful fruity kiddie drink. It seems to be kind of pricey compared to things like iced tea and sugar cane juice. Also, many consumers may consider it to be quite artificial. One of the ingredients is a gummy-bear-like fruit gelatin or tapioca-based gel. Other ingredients include ice, real fruit, and some kind of milk or malt and/or tea. i like fruity drinks in general, so i thought i would like it. it was okay, but i think there are better fruity things to drink or eat that are more natural and cheaper. you still might decide you want to try it… especially if you are gummy-bear fan 😉
What i tried i would hardly call “bubble tea”. it didnt taste like tea (even if that was one of the ingredients). it was much closer to a milk-shake with ice and gummy bears added. it seems like there are different types of Trà Sữa Trân Châu which would explain why it might be called bubble tea. it seems the bubbles are the globules of soft gummy-bear-like tapioca-esque thingies. one of the ingredients in those gels is citric acid they probably use a lot of chemicals like those used in candies around the world. if you want more info, go to wikipedia. if you don’t know vietnamese, then plug in a translator to it. i suggest google chrome.
Here is a link to a vietnamese TV report dealing with this product:
here are some pics i took of the stand in D4 in Saigon:
Veggie Venue 4 – Quan An “Thien Tan” ; 17-19 Ton Dan Street, district 4, ward 13
This eatery is at the top of Ton Dan street in D4. To give you an idea, the closest bridge (cau) is Khanh Hoi, which connects D1 with D4 at the Vung Tao ferry port. This is not a strictly veggie place but the vegetarian section is big and has plenty of choices, so i decided to tell you about this place.
I have eaten here 2 times so far and I plan to eat here often. It isn’t too far from my place, the portions are big, the prices are good, the selection is big, and the staff is friendly. They have a menu translated into english, but for some reason, they didnt includ the Chay section, so I have sort of translated it for you here below. (prices are from now — May 2011). Sorry for the lack of diacritical marks, but you can see them in the photo.
Cac Mon Chay (Vegetarian Dishes)
- hu tiu xao 35,000
- stirred-fried big rice noodles
- mi xao gion 35,000
- stir-fried deep-fried-noodles with mushrooms & vegetables
- mi xao mem 35,000
- stir-fried noodles with mushrooms & vegetables
- bun gao xao thap cam 35,000
- stir-fried thin-dry-rice noodles
- mien xao thap cam 40,000
- stir-fried thin-dry-rice noodle jumble
- com chien duong chao 33,000
- Chinese fried rice 1
- com xao thap cam 35,000
- Chinese fried rice 2
- do xao thap cam 35,000
- stir-fried mixed vegetables (no noodle) – would have meat on a normal menu
- cai thia xao 16,000
- stir-fried Chinese cabbage
- bong cai xao 22,000
- stir-fried Vietnamese cauliflower
- rau muong xao 16,000
- stir-fried water spinach
- nam thap cam xao 35,000
- stir-fried mushroom
Here are the condiments they have out on all the tables. The tables and condiments are kept clean. There is an air-conditioned room too. Sometimes the A/C room is open and sometimes it isn’t. You may be surprised as you entrer the eatery, that you walk through the kitchen to get inside. Below, are pics of the first 2 dishes that I ate here (2nd and 5th on the Chay page of the menu), and the other pic is the “Rau” (vegetables) page.
Phap Quang: 31 Ton That Thuyet; District 4, Ward 18
I found another veggie spot (Com Chay) in district 4. This one, called Phap Quang, is in the southeast corner of this triangular-island district of SaiGon that we call simply “District 4” (Quan.4/Q.4). This street is the southern border of the district – running the full length of the canal along the longest side of the D4 triangle. This locale is quite close to the southeast corner… just a bit before the bridge in the corner and the 2 little parks found there.
This was the second time I have eaten here. The first time I was here, I didn’t have my phone with me (and therefore no camera). This place is really cheap (15,000 dong for a nice sized plate and a small soup). The first time I came here, it was midday and she must have given me 3 cold Vietnamese teas. This time, I was there at dusk and it was much cooler. She didn’t bring any tea and she must have seen that I was kinda in a rush and I had all of my dogs with me, so they set up a table for me on the sidewalk. If I had asked for a tea, of course I would have gotten one. This place isn’t the cleanest and the food mostly tastes average, but it is Com Chay and it is cheap (and I felt good after both meals). The fake meat reminds me of real meat so much, that I don’t like it too much… but I tell myself it isn’t meat and surely it doesn’t have meat broth added to it. surely they would do that.
Overall, I recommend it for the price, the soup, the tea, the serving size, and the fast service. Weak points: main courses are, let’s say “average” and this locale might be a BIT “ghetto” for some. The Com Chay in D4 that you can find in an earlier entry on SaiGon Vegetarian (located on Huang Dieu Street), seems to have a little bigger selection, is less “ghetto”, and is only a bit more expensive (still very cheap). That place on Huang Dieu Street is also pretty much in the middle of D4 and not far from the bridges to D1. I plan on frequent both of these eateries.