When it came down to research, I definitely had that covered. I had searched through blogs, articles and of course the Lonely Planet guides for the best dining and shopping in Vietnam. Nam Phan is one of the poshiest restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City. In comparison to fine dining in Sydney, for just $30 USD, I dined as the royals would.

Nam Phan, a gourmet Vietnamese restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam-  the perfect dining ambience, elegant table setting over a luscious garden and pond

The restaurant, set in a restored French colonial villa offered the perfect dining ambience. Twinkling lights were scattered around bamboo plants and orchids and there was even a pond amongst the luscious garden. The staff dressed in formal classic Vietnamese attire spoke fluent English and offered the type of service you wouldn’t expect in this country. The table setting and furnishings reflected an European influence.. it was every bit gorgeous.

Nam Phan, a gourmet Vietnamese restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam- bamboo plants, display lights and table setting

Nam Phan, a gourmet Vietnamese restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam-  me and my brother

We started off with a hot and sour seafood soup which was intensely flavoursome. The food all maintained the traditions of Vietnamese cuisine but were served in new-age inspired ways. The triangle spring rolls were piping hot and delicious with perfect lettuce cups and symmetrical mint leaves.

Nam Phan, a gourmet Vietnamese restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam-  hot and sour seafood soup (sup hai san chua cay)

Nam Phan, a gourmet Vietnamese restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam-  triangle spring rolls (cha gio tam giac)

The beef salad was dressed in tangy citric juices and fragrant with lemongrass. I loved the complementing giant prawn crackers!

Nam Phan, a gourmet Vietnamese restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam-  beef salad (goi bo nam phan)

Nam Phan, a gourmet Vietnamese restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam-  prawn crackers

The sweet and sour soup minus the tender bite-sized cubes of mudfish, was just like Mum’s cooking back home. It was generous with chunks of bacha (alocasia odora), okra, pineapple and tomatoes.

Nam Phan, a gourmet Vietnamese restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam- sweet and sour mudfish soup (canh chua ca loc)

We also had the braised king prawns which were marinated in a glossy red sauce… it smelt of fish sauce, lots of garlic and peppercorns.

Nam Phan, a gourmet Vietnamese restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam-  braised king prawns (tom cang rim)

The stir-fry was a colourful mix of pork, squid, prawns, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli and green beans.

Nam Phan, a gourmet Vietnamese restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam-  sauteed vegetables with pork, squid and prawns (rau xao thap cam)

And… *drum roll*… the best was saved for last. Look at this stunning tropical fruit platter of grapefruit, dragonfruit, mango, watermelon and pineapple. It was uber tasty with chilli salt.

Nam Phan, a gourmet Vietnamese restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam-  seasonal fresh tropical fruit platter with grapefruit, dragonfruit, mango, watermelon and pineapple (trai cay)

Nam Phan, a gourmet Vietnamese restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam-  tea cup and saucer

Nam Phan, a gourmet Vietnamese restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam-  my dining companions

Here are my dining companions…
And I also had to sneak in a shot of the pretty bathroom. It was made for romance… haha!

Nam Phan, a gourmet Vietnamese restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam- the gorgeous bathroom

glowing Ho Chi Minh City Hall at night with motion blur of motorbike traffic

That night, we walked home from the restaurant, past this magnificent glowing City Hall… It was nice to be fed and served like a Queen 🙂
Nam Phan
Finest Vietnamese Cuisine
64 Le Thanh Ton Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Tel: +84 (08) 829 2757
Web: www.khaisilkcorp.com

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Jennifer is the founding blogger of I Ate My Way Through (originally, Jenius.com.au). Growing up in the multicultural melting pot of Sydney’s Inner West as a second generation Australian (of Vietnamese refugee parents of Teochew Chinese ancestry), Jen has always had a deep curiosity about global cuisines, culinary heritage and the cultural assimilation of immigrants. For Jen and her family, food is always at the centre of all celebrations, life events and milestones. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering and inspiring people to expand their culinary repertoire. When not running her two companies (she is also the Managing Director of The Bamboo Garden online marketing agency), Jen can be found exploring old-world charms at vintage markets and delving into local eats around the world. She has a weakness for fried chicken.
  • Daniel

    Wow…so my first time checking back in a while now and I got around six new entries. It’s too much food! Now I am really craving for some great food T_T
    Also your photography is great, the pictures from the plane are excellent the view looks amazing.
    On a final note, do you have any food related adventures planned for Australia Day? Or will you be missing out this year? 😛

  • Wow that place looks awesome. That’s what I love about asian countries, you can eat such wonderful food for a fraction of the price that you would normally. I am planning to go to Vietnam this year, so I will def put this on the list of places to go!

  • Jen

    Hey Daniel, hehe, yup, i’ve been super busy editing and uploading photos… if you want to get ahead, check out my Flickr collection.
    Australia Day… still unplanned! It might end up being a last minute BBQ, or if the weather permits, a lazy day at the beach… I might even miss out if procrastination gets the better of me! Happy Australia Day 🙂
    Hi Susan, Oooo, i’ll be blogging about what I thought was the best curry & banh canh in HCMC soon…hehe, be sure to drop those in your list too!

  • That fruit plate looks like a piece of art.

  • hey there! just a random here hhaha
    i love all your entries, they always leave my mouth watering and my eyes wanting more LOL
    if it wasnt for my very detailed pitt st cupcakes search on google i wouldn’t have stumbled upon this nifty little blog so keep it up! oh and a happy australia day also 🙂

  • Mary`

    I was watching a japanese drama and they mentioned “dumplings”, searching for those, i was taken to you’re page. And i found so many yummy dishes. You’re so lucky you tried them. I’m from Europe and i’m not a fan of the food, but when i see that delicious asian food, i’m starting to love food. I’m gonna browse the blog, you’ve done a great job with it. Keep it up. Thanks!

  • Beautifully photographed dishes and they look delicious.