Were you blown away when you savoured Vietnamese bánh mì for the very first time?
My first experience is still fresh in my mind. I remember thinking to myself: “How could a simple baguette be made into something so tasty?”
The multi-dimensional flavours of Vietnamese cuisine never fail to take my taste buds on a wild roller coaster ride. We’re certainly blessed in Singapore as an increasing number of Vietnamese establishments are setting up shop at hawker stalls and various eateries around the island.
I’ve set off on an empty stomach and embarked on a little adventure to scout for the 10 best Vietnamese food places in Singapore that will blow your mind. Well, I hope they blow yours too!
Egg coffee and bo ne (Vietnam’s version of steak and eggs) are seldom sold in Vietnamese establishments around Singapore, but Le Cafe Vie5 located at Upper Paya Lebar sells both.
No visit to Le Cafe Vie5 is complete without ordering their Sizzling Beef with Loaf (S$18.90). I remember having this dish at a back alley on the streets of Ho Chi Minh and it has since been etched in my mind. It consists of a petite-sized baguette, sunny-side up, beef slices, two meatballs, pork pate, a piece of sausage, and a dollop of butter served on a hot skillet.
You can also try the HP Prawn Noodle Soup (S$12) which is originated from one of the chef’s hometown (HP = Haiphong). It comes with 2 large prawns accompanied by a few smaller ones, mushrooms, pork cubes, black fungus, with garnishes of spring onions and laksa leaves.
My personal favourite whenever I visit the place is the Grilled Pork Noodle (S$11)— you should try it.
To finish off your meal, invigorate your senses with a cup of Coco Coffee (S$6.50) or Egg-Whisked Coffee (S$6.50 for hot).
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I feel blessed to be living at Ang Mo Kio. Why? That’s because Bánh Mì Saigon is just a few streets from my house. The bánh mì sold here is considered one of the best I’ve tasted in Singapore (my family and friends agree too).
My parents and I always takeaway their Special Great Banh Mi Cha Lua (S$7.90) whenever we feel like having a nice Vietnamese-style stuffed baguette for lunch. It has a variety of delicious cold cuts, including one filled with peppercorns for a subtle spicy kick.
The stall also has 13 other choices for you to get giddy over. Try the Roasted Pork (S$9.90) or the Salt Baked Roast Chicken (S$8.90).
Another exciting addition is their 5 different kinds of noodle dishes (new menu items). Savour the Bún thịt nướng (S$8.90), which is served with delicious grilled BBQ pork or the Bánh hỏi heo quay (S$8.90) that comes with crispy roasted pork.
4 years ago, I was introduced to Chả cá lã vọng (grilled turmeric fish) during my vacation in Hanoi. After savouring that particular dish, I was scrambling to find it in Singapore but to no avail… until I chanced upon VS Cafe at Northshore Plaza II— I was over the moon!
The Cha Ca La Vong (S$19.90 for 2 pax) contains pieces of grilled snakehead fish that’s been marinated with turmeric, served with loads of fresh dill, spring onion, and soaked in olive oil.
The set also comes with a plate of Vietnamese rice noodles, a plate of mixed salad and herbs as well as 2 bowls of dipping sauces.
If you’re looking for something light, you can get the Bánh Mì Sai Gon (S$8.90) which is stuffed with pork slices, pork ham, a layer of pate, coriander, and pickled strips of cucumber, carrot, and radish.
Alternatively, you can order their combo which comes with a glass of VS Iced Milk Coffee for S$11.90 instead.
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418 Northshore Drive, Northshore Plaza 2, #02-04, Singapore 820418
+65 8540 1350
Tue to Sun: 11am – 9pm
Closed on Mon
May Pho Culture is an authentic Vietnamese spot nestled below Fook Hai Building in Chinatown. Come and say hi to the lady chef who hails from Ho Chi Minh as you enter the small, homely space on the first floor. You can also opt for the bar seats on the second floor that allows you to gaze at the outside world.
The place mainly focuses on pho and light bites. If you browse through their menu, you’ll find several wallet-friendly options such as Beef Brisket Pho (S$12.90), Beef Plate Pho (S$10.90), Chicken Supreme Pho (S$11.90) and Chicken Meat Pho (S$8.90).
The well-rounded broth for the pho is robust and packed full of flavour— guaranteed to get you going back for more.
For a refreshing palate cleanser, get the Fresh Spring Rolls (S$9.90) which are packed with pork slices, shrimp, lettuce, and rice noodles. If you’re a bona fide coffee addict, you must get the Vietnamese Iced Coffee (S$3.80)— you’ll love it for sure!
150 South Bridge Road, Fook Hai Building, #01-16, Singapore 058727
+65 9646 2589
Wed to Mon: 11.30am – 9pm
Closed on Tue
I chanced upon this very quaint and rustic cafe called F.I.C which stands for ‘Fried Ice Cream’ at Ang Mo Kio. The place is owned by 2 friendly ladies and it serves an array of Vietnamese bites, desserts, and beverages.
Their myriad of vermicelli bowls are light and tasty. You’ll have a choice between FIC Fried Spring Rolls (S$7.45), Lemongrass Chicken (S$7.45), and Vegetarian (S$7.45). They’ve also got a potpourri of bánh mì like Pork Meatballs Bánh Mì (S$7) and Lemongrass Bánh Mì (S$7).
Have you heard of paper pizza? I haven’t. It’s an ingenious way of melding Vietnamese spring roll wrappers with ingredients on top. You can savour the Chicken Sausage (S$3.30) or the Mentaiko Crabmeat (S$3.80). Do note that the minimum order is 2 portions and you’ll get 10% off if you get 3 or more.
What’s also unique is their melange of fried ice cream like Coconutti (S$5.45), Mango Tango (S$5.45), and Biscotti Biscotti (S$5.45). The creamy ice-cold goodness is encased in a crispy ball and covered with various toppings.
114 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4, #01-345, Singapore 560114
+65 9710 8440
Wed to Mon: 11am – 8pm
Closed on Tue
If you’re in the vicinity of Geylang, head over to Hi Bánh Mì for an authentic Vietnamese experience. This hidden gem comes complete with low tables and chairs for you to people- watch while you enjoy their assortment of bánh mì.
I’ll recommend the Homemade Special Sandwich (S$6.90) which is a crowd favourite. It contains pork floss, radish, vegetables, pate spread, homemade sauce, and 4 kinds of homemade pork, freshly cured by Tammy, the owner.
Sinful foods always taste good. Indulge in the Crispy Roasted Pork Sandwich (S$5.50) which packs crispy pork belly with a truckload of coriander and chillies (if you opt for spicy).
The stall even has unique flavours like Sunny Side Up Sandwich (S$4) and Sardine Banh Mi (S$5.50).
If you love our local goreng pisang, you should give the Vietnamese Fried Bananas (S$1.80 per piece) a go. They’re almost the same thing, except Hi Bánh Mì adds sesame seeds into the coated batter.
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340 Geylang Road, Le Regal, #01-15 , Singapore 389365
+65 8841 5839
Wed to Mon: 10am – 9pm
Closed on Tue
Tre Caphe at Killiney Road is operated by the same awesome people who were operating the now defunct Le Saigon Cafe at Liang Seah Street. Be prepared to be impressed with their dishes which are executed using traditional ingredients and methods.
Their menu has something for everyone and it’s an awesome place to bring your close family and friends for a get-together.
Whet your appetite with their assortment of starters like The TRE Chicken Salad (S$11.80), Crispy Seafood Spring Rolls (S$6.80) or the TRE Mini Banh Mi Set (S$11.80 for 3 pieces).
Tre Caphe also offers a series of hotpot with options for Medium (2 to 3 pax) and Large (3 to 5 pax).
Meat lovers will definitely love the TRE Vietnamese Beef Hotpot (S$39.80/S$49.80) or you can go for something more exotic like the TRE Beef Tail Hotpot (S$39.80/S$49.80) for all that luscious gelatinous goodness.
There’s also rice and noodle sets, vegan food, desserts, Vietnamese coffee, and other beverages as well.
If the Killiney outlet is a little out of the way, you can also choose to visit their Suntec City outlet.
75 Killiney Road, Singapore 239529
+65 9722 8197
Daily: 11.30am – 10pm
8. Co Hai Banh Mi
Co Hai Banh Mi is an aesthetically beautiful Vietnamese eatery especially in the day, decked out in a turquoise and white colour palette. I’ve dined there personally 3 times with my friends and the food never lets me down.
If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of the staff baking a batch of their homemade baguettes used for their bánh mì. Trust me… the aroma is alluring!
Be adventurous and excite your taste buds with their Chicken Curry W Baguette (S$12). The Organ Meat W Baguette (S$12) is made using a 30-year-old heirloom recipe using pork meat and offal that’s braised in a spiced stock in coconut water and Chinese herbs.
Their bowls of pho are pretty solid in my opinion. Get the Sliced Beef Noodle Soup (S$10) or treat yourself to the Special Noodle Soup (S$12.50), which contains sliced beef, brisket, tendon and meatballs.
They also have a range of other noodle dishes like Seafood, Minced Pork & Quail Egg Vermicelli Soup (S$12.50) and Macaroni Seafood Soup (S$11.50).
Vegans can look forward to Boon Pisang Goreng which is a hawker stall that sells Vietnamese dishes as well as an assortment of fried fritters at Balestier Market.
For something healthy and wholesome, grab the Vegan Joy (S$5.50) which is a bánh mì filled with vegan meat, cucumbers, carrots, radishes, spring onions and coriander. You can also indulge in the super crispy and addictive Golden Roll (S$1.50 per roll) that’s made with rice paper and various fillings like yam, mushrooms, tau pok and coriander.
If you have extra stomach space, you can also snack on the niangao + Yam (S$1.50) fritter. It contains a layer of chewy niangao and a layer of yam. This particular snack is a rare find and not many places tend to do this anymore.
You should also get the Tapioca (S$1.20) fritter which is chewy and springy. You can also feast on the Potato Curry Puff (S$1.40) that’s filled generously with curried potatoes.
Take your pick from their range of pho which includes Homemade Chicken Meatball (S$15.90), Grilled Chicken Dry Vermicelli (S$14.90), Sliced Beef, Beef Meatball (S$15.90) and Oxtail (S$18.90).
The broad menu also has dishes suitable for large families or groups of friends to share amongst themselves. What’s highly recommended is the Signature Grilled Saigon Chicken (S$15.90 for half, S$28.90 for whole).
Other dishes which you can split the calories with your gang include Grilled Beef Wrapped in Vine Leaves (S$15.90) and Flame Grilled Catfish with Homemade Sauce (S$18.90).
If you’re longing for the local street grub of Vietnam, there’s also a selection of traditional and elevated street foods available to complement your main meals. Tuck into Fresh Spring Roll with Shrimp (S$7.90) and Savoury Prawn & Coconut Mini Pancake (S$14.90).
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