I visited on an extra steamy May night with a couple friends. The restaurant is on Nguyễn Trung Trực street, just before the Reunification Palace, the last (or first) in a series of outdoor Vietnamese BBQ restaurants on the same street. Be careful, watch out for the copy cats, only the one at 37 is the original Sài Gòn Xưa Và Nay.
We ordered lotus salad with pork and prawns (120,000đ), the eggplant with green onion sauce (60,000đ), ribs (50,000đ/each) and the mixed rice noodles (80,000đ). The lotus salad arrived first, shortly after ordering. It was just right with thick, crunchy, chopped lotus stalks, large, fatty bits of pork and generous prawns. The sauce was sweet and slightly tangy, with stalks of fresh coriander. It came with a side of rice cakes.
Next came the eggplant. Served in a manner in which I’ve never seen eggplant served, with green onions and peanuts; none of us were crazy about it. It was soggy and had a slightly smoky and bitter taste. The green onion sauce was tasteless. We ended up sending it back. The ribs took much longer to arrive. We had ordered 3 ribs, yet only 2 arrived. Though a tougher cut of pork than I normally like, they were quite tasty, in a mildly spicy sauce. Finally came the mixed noodles. These were thin rice noodles stir fried with veggies, pork and seafood. This dish was nothing special–with a bland sauce, too much cabbage and not enough meat.
Judging by other Vietnamese BBQ spots I’ve visited in the city, this one was just average.