Food Trip: Scott & Jeremy’s

A couple of weeks ago, Soki and I were planning where both our families should have dinner at right after the anticipated Palm Sunday Mass.

We decided we missed Scott and Duc since they moved from Phu My Hung and set up not one but two popular restaurants in District 1! So there’s La Fiesta which focuses on Mexican dishes — and then there’s Scott & Jeremy’s where my favorite dishes from Scott & Binh’s are in the menu.

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I didn’t get a lot of photos due to the fact that (1) we were all very hungry after a late church service and (2) our kids were keeping us busy.

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I love their mushroom soup! Am partial to 2 soups – one is the clam chowder and the mushroom soup. It’s like whenever I see those 2 in the menu, I’d just have to taste it. 😛

We tried the lamb burger, the chicken in the kids menu, the tofu (photo above), and few more burgers.

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Where can you find a restaurant where the chef babysits your kid while you eat? 😛

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Thanks Scott and Duc for the delicious dinner! We miss you both and the girls in PMH.

Scott and Jeremy’s
40 Đặng Thị Nhu, Nguyễn Thái Bình, Quận 1
Ho Chi Minh City
094 890 14 65

Posted in Gastronomic Delights | Leave a comment

One Saturday afternoon…

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…at Al Fresco’s D2, I met up with their PR Manager, Cindy and their Chef, Mario. It was a such a treat chatting with Chef Mario as he recounted his kitchen stories. He has been in Vietnam for 21 years — first working with Al Fresco’s restaurant in Hanoi. He moved to HCMC in 2003 to open Al Fresco’s Dong Du restaurant. But his history with the Al Fresco Group started in 1992 in Hong Kong.

Oh and did I mention that he’s a fellow Filipino?

Of course, it all ended up with us eating a whole lot of Al Fresco’s bestsellers and sampling their new premium weekend wood burnt pizza. You can only get these yummy pizzas in their District 2 garden restaurant!

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Cheesy Salami and Mushroom

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Chili Beef Taco

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Quail Eggs Florentine

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Pancetta and Anchovy Bianca

You think with Chef Mario’s seniority, he’d no longer be doing most of the cooking or baking — but nope, he manned the pizza station that afternoon. He deftly prepared the pizzas in no time. Diners would be happy to know that you can watch the chef prepare your order at the pizza station. Just don’t touch the oven! 😛

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He shared that he’d still like to continue working in the kitchen. And I agree!

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Take me back to The Anam

Honestly, I’ve crossed off Nha Trang in my list of places to visit in Vietnam. Last weekend was my third trip going with my office for our yearly retreat, team building, and training. I was having second thoughts going because we were getting on a sleeper train to get there — which was a 9-hour ride. Back in 2010, on our way back to Saigon from NT, we got stuck on the train for 23 hours due to heavy typhoon and flooding. So you can imagine my worry.

But this time around, the train ride went well and made even better stepping on The Anam grounds. From the time we arrived till we left, we all felt cared for, treated like VIPs, and the whole place is IG-worthy. So let this be a warning that this entry will be flooded with photos.

So why do I want to go back to The Anam?

Because it’s stunning.

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Everywhere you look, there’s just so much beauty. It’s hard not to take your camera out and take snaps everywhere you go – from the reception area to the beach, the place is well-maintained.

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The villas are inviting.

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And I slept real well. I think that’s the true testament of how good your villa/room is. If a guest can get a good night rest AND finds it hard to get out of bed and leave the villa EVEN if there’s a paradise out there, well, I rest my case.

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Needless to say, I spent a lot of time just lazing here.

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There is privacy.

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The place is big enough for our whole group of around 100, plus the other resort guests — which we hardly saw the entire 3 days we were there.

The food is delish.

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So I didn’t get to take a lot of food photos because I was you know, busy, devouring them. During our gala dinner, they prepared a spread of international cuisine and grilled seafood.

Oh an one time during breakfast, I saw the Vietnamese chef come out of the kitchen and play with one of the guest’s child who was having a meltdown. It was just so nice of him to do that.

There are 3 pools.

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Pools for the win! Because there are 3 pools situated in different locations in the resort, it never gets too crowded when you want to dive in. And the deepest is 1.6 meters. And there’s an area for kids to wade into as well safely. Above is the pool by the restaurant and below is the pool near the beach.

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Below is the pool near the reception area flanked by villas.

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There’s a kiddie play area and gym.

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For families, there is a kiddie play area where the kids can safely play. This is important because, well…I have kids and yep, they’re pretty hard to entertain. They bounce from one activity to another like a ball.

And if you have an exercise regimen going on, the resort also has a gym.

There is grass.

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I know this is weird but I loved that there is a huge grass area where kids can safely play. This is where our office held the team building activities.

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It’s really a feat to keep it green all year round coz it can get really hot during the late morning and early afternoon.

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I saw the resort ground workers working all the time to keep the place pristine.

The beach is immaculate.

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The sand is as fine as a powder and the waters are clean and goes from blue to deep blue to turquoise. You can also go rowing and jet skiing, if you’re into that.

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Great place to hang out and read a book — which I forgot. Haha. Bbbbuuut…the wifi in the resort is strong out here, so yeah, you can work from here IF you really, really have to.

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Best seat to watch the sun rise.

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I woke up early one morning at 5:30 am and decided to check if the sun was out already. I got lucky and the sun was just waking up.

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And yes, I took a lot of shots. They’re all so gorgeous!

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The Anam is just 15 minutes away from Nha Trang’s Cam Ranh International Airport and for someone like me who has seen Nha Trang from a tourist POV and just want a restful reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the city, it’s one of the best resorts to go to. Who am I kidding? It’s the best resort I’ve been to in Vietnam. I have to come back!

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Ava’s Closet Moving Sale

I rarely go past Ben Thanh Market when going to work in the mornings but today I did, and saw that the roundabout along Le Loi is now closed off for the train construction. General Tran Nguyen Han has been relocated since last year and now, another iconic site will follow suit the roundabout’s demise. The art alley of Station 3A will close in 2 months to give way to a mixed-use site.

From what I hear, business owners in Station 3A are scrambling to find new locations. One business that just moved to Station 3A (and made a huge investment) is crying foul with the sudden news of the closure.

Some were planning ahead, like my friend, Helen of Ava’s Closet.

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I first met Helen in 2011, when she was still running Geisha’s Cafe. Then in 2014, she decided to focus on her clothing line, Ava’s Closet.

So anyhoo, in preparation for the big move, Ava’s Closet is holding a closing sale starting tomorrow till the 30th of April. What’s great about Ava’s is that they sell Western sizes — so they pretty much cater to all sizes.

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Their dresses are to die for!

And if you can’t find a dress you like, you can always ask their in-house seamstress to sew one for you! She’s a gem!

Ava’s Closet
Station 3A, 3A Ton Duc Thang St., District 1, HCMC

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Signing on…

It’s been a while since I last posted and much has happened with a few projects here and there, plus being real busy with the kids as my youngest has been battling the sniffles and acute tonsillitis for a week now.

Finding a good pediatrician and hospital in Ho Chi Minh City is a perennial problem for expat families and have been so far lucky with FV Hospital. Am sure some people reading this are like, “yeah right!” But hey, this is our family’s experience and I do hope we continue to receive topnotch medical advice there.

That brings me to our visit last Friday to my son’s pediatrician, Dr. Dien. You see, before we got to FV, we figured in a minor accident along Bui Bang Doan. A motorbike hit our cab. Yup, not the other way around. The motorbike suddenly appeared from a side street and decided to claim the road without looking whether there was an oncoming car. The cab driver was so mad that they almost got into a rumble on the street.

Dr. Dien told me that next time we should just take the road behind our apartment along Nguyen Dong Chi that connected to Nguyen Luong Bang where FV Hospital was at. That street did not have a lot of traffic and was safer.

Of course he was right as I just had a good walk just last Monday night!

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The bridge connected to the golf course where our favorite pizza place, 4Ps was. There are lots of walkers (not TWD type 😛 ) and runners along this road in the evening plus the place is well lit with security going around.

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I just really hope that this place don’t become too crowded as it really is a good place to have a nice walk.

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This is also our favorite route when biking with the family as it’s relatively safe.

Oh and if you’re looking for a pediatrician, I highly recommend Dr. Dien. He’s been my son’s doctor since birth and he also holds office in FV Clinic in Bitexco. His schedule is almost always full but whenever I can, he’s my first go-to-pedia here in HCMC.

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Museo Orlina

While we were going around Tagaytay City, I spotted a sign to Museo Orlina which was just a few meters away from the entrance of the subdivision where we were staying. Needless to say, I convinced our group into going. 😛

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I was  just so happy to have finally visited Museo Orlina showcasing Orlina’s work of glass sculptures, as well as on display, were outstanding works from equally talented Filipino artists. I am sorry not sorry to bombard this post with images from the museum which I hope you’d get a chance to visit to be inspired. With the Taal Lake as the background of the this house turned art sanctuary, it was just perfect!

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Can you just imagine the hours put into each sculpture? It is just amazing!

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This amazing emerald sculpture is one of my favorites!

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Do you know that greenery is the pantone color of the year? Haha. But seriously, I am drawn to the emerald sculptures.

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Here’s the bust of former president Cory Aquino.
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Outside the garden is littered with installations from other local artists.

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Under the amphitheater is the garage where another renowned Filipino artist, Bencab painted his Sabel series on a Volkswagen Beetle. See the eerie hand on the wheel?

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It was fortuitous too because a couple of days after, we were headed to the Philippines summer capital, Baguio City, and visited Bencab Musuem. That post will be up soon.


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Tripping in Tagaytay

One of my favorite places near Manila is Tagaytay — especially before it became the weekend place for everybody. With it being an hour away (yes! If there’s no traffic) from the city, it’s the nearest place to unwind and enjoy viewing Taal Volcano at Taal Lake.

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Taal Lake, photo taken by Hello Saigon

We decided to stay for a night in Tagaytay after we swung by our home in Cavite. The last time my eldest saw our home was when he was 10 months old and now he’s 8! My youngest has never seen our home at all so it was the perfect opportunity to visit the South of Manila.

Since the whole family wanted to join, we rented a place through and stayed in Le Fleur Country Villa in Montevista Subdivision.

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The caretakers lived just downstairs so all our needs were met.

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The place was perfect with 3 bedrooms and a spacious attic that was turned into a den or lounge area.

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The attic was the only place that has air conditioning — not that the house needed it.

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The villa was just lovely and homey all around. We really wished we could have stayed longer.

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It was a perfect place to hold our family photos too so we did just that.

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The kitchen was well-equipped and coffee was available too.

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We cooked breakfast and lunch in the kitchen.

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If you’re looking for a place to stay in Tagaytay with the whole family, Le Fleur Country Villa is a great place to stay in.

* photos taken by JC Dacio

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