NileGuide Expert Says:
Best Neighborhood Restaurant
Ward 19, Binh Thanh District, 68 Pham Viet Chanh Street
Ho Chi Minh, Viet Nam
090399 2847,(08) 6258 1508
Great neighborhood restaurants come a dime a dozen in Saigon. Vietnam didn't get its reputation, as a foodies' paradise by accident and you'll find someone steaming, stir-frying or grilling something delicious on almost every block everywhere you go. This place, however, is an anomaly. Whereas many restaurants away from the city center are deeply Vietnamese in character, with its user-friendly menus and understated, mellow ambiance, Papaya is geared very much towards westerners. That's not to say that it lacks authenticity at all. On the contrary, the North Vietnamese dishes that are the restaurant's stock in trade are as immaculately flavored as they are presented. Hidden away in a warren of streets in deepest darkest Binh Thanh District, visiting is something of leap of faith for those that don't know the city intimately. However dishes such as ca tim nuong voi sot thit bam (grilled eggplant salad with minced pork) and ga nuong la chanh (BBQ chicken wrapped in lime leaves) are well worth hailing a taxi for.