During our recent trip to Vietnam, our first stop was Ho Chi Minh City. We had booked a group tour with Adventures By Disney, which meant that most of our itinerary was pre-planned and we had limited options for dining and sightseeing on our own. While this was a bit of a downside, there were also benefits to traveling with a group, such as not having to worry about transportation or researching accommodations and activities.
In my previous post about dealing with jetlag, I mentioned that we plan the first day of our trip as a rest day. Additionally, I reserved an extra day at the Park Hyatt Saigon, where we would be staying with our group. I have written about our experience at this luxurious hotel in another post and mentioned that we mostly had our meals there. However, a commenter on that post suggested that we missed out on the incredible food scene in Saigon. Based on research after our visit, the food of Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, is a diverse and delicious mix of influences from China, France, Cambodia and Thailand.
While it’s true that we might have explored more if we were on our own, we were hesitant to venture out, especially since it took us 36 hours just to get used to crossing the street. Nevertheless, we had our reasons for sticking to dining at the Park Hyatt.
Here’s a recap of our breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Park Hyatt Saigon. The main dining establishment at the Park Hyatt is Opera. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s where we ate all of our meals at the hotel. As described by the hotel:
The authentic trattoria-style restaurant Opera has been transformed into the dining room of Park Hyatt Saigon, offering a venue where guests can meet and socialise. With the philosophy of sharing and coming together to create delightful moments, Opera is also a perfect venue for family dining.
After arriving at the hotel, we went straight to our room and took a much-needed nap. Later, when we woke up feeling refreshed, we realized it was already dinner time. Since, I hadn’t researched the area’s food scene prior to the trip, so I had no idea where to go to eat. However, we had a $100 credit from booking with AMEX Fine Hotels and Resorts, so we decided to dine at Opera.
Although we found it unusual to have Italian food in Vietnam, we have enjoyed Italian cuisine in different parts of the world, so we decided to give it a try. We were not aware of the cost of food in Vietnam, but we knew we had $100 to spend.
We were hungry, as the last food we had eaten was at the Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge that morning. The first thing brought to the table was a loaf of bread. We quickly devoured it and they brought us another one.
We started by ordering the Antipasto All’Italiana.
For our main courses, I ordered the lasagna. I’ve never been served lasagna as a single serving dish before and it was more like a “deep dish” pasta but tasty none the less.
Sharon had the Tagliatelle Al Ragu Di Wagyu.
While the pasta dishes weren’t huge, a’la Olive Garden, it was plenty to fill us up after the bread and started. The entire meal with two glasses of wine used up most of our $100 credit.
The next morning, we woke up and went to breakfast, which was included in our room rate for our entire stay. The Opera Restaurant had been transformed into a massive buffet.
While an elegant dining room at night, in the morning the space is full of natural light from the windows.
There was a wide array of pastries which rotated daily. It must be the French influence but the bread products in Vietnam were incredible throughout our visit.
There was also a large selection of fresh fruit, salads and fresh pressed juice combos. I liked the orange and ginger juice as a start to the day.
There were also several carving stations, which included ham and several quiches.
At the end of the buffet were the Vietnamese food offerings.
There were also several self-serve trays with western items like bacon, eggs, roasted potatoes and tomatoes.
Here’s what my selection looked like one morning, before I went back for seconds.
I ordered a Banh mi with pork belly, because I was told I had to try it.
It took until the third day before I was able to get the staff to bring me a Cà Phê Sữa đá (Vietnamese iced coffee). I wouldn’t want to have one every day but they were sure tasty.
On our first full day in Ho Chi Mihn City, we didn’t do much. We walked around for a while (and found an ATM to get cash) and took the Hop On-Hop Off bus around town. By mid-afternoon it was hot and we headed back to the hotel. We were hungry so we stopped at the Opera Bar.
We ordered some beers to cool down and a Margherita pizza. Little did we know that to the Park Hyatt, pizza and beer is a full meal.
With the beers, we were provided another loaf of bread. Carbs before carbs with more carbs, why not? We’re on vacation.
Finally we were served our pizza, which was really tasty and plenty for two.
I have no regrets about eating most of our meals while in Ho Chi Minh City at the Park Hyatt. Breakfasts were included with our room and the buffet spread was impressive. For our first night, we were zonked and had no desire to wander around town. For lunch, pizza and beer isn’t the most traditional Vietnamese meal but it hit the spot.
We did have lunch one day at a spot along the Mekong River delta where were served a whole cooked fish.
So we didn’t spend the entire visit eating in the hotel, if you thought we never got outside.
Want to comment on this post? Great! Read this first to help ensure it gets approved.
Want to sponsor a post, write something for Your Mileage May Vary, or put ads on our site? Click here for more info.
Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love it if you decided to hang around and sign up to get emailed notifications of when we post.
Whether you’ve read our articles before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!
This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary