Throwing a birthday party in Saigon is always a challenge. Unlike in Manila where you can find a number of party planners and party suppliers — here, it’s not like that. Throwing a real huge birthday bash for Vietnamese children isn’t really the norm I think. I haven’t really seen a Vietnamese kid celebrate his birthday ala Manila-style — you know with the styro backdrop, balloon drops, swags, entertainment (magician-facepainter-balloon twister, etc), and food carts. That is just not the thing here. So forget about themed parties.
The greatest challenge I think here is finding a good caterer and someone who can customize your birthday cake. I miss the cake artists of Manila! You can even go to your local bakeshop and they can whip out the perfectly customized birthday cake. But here, sadly no. So you can understand why I just had to write about Cake Sense.
On the other hand, I like that things are so simple here. Strip a party off all the hullabaloo and just invite the guests closest to you, and you’re going to have a good time. Even the kids don’t need games or magicians to entertain them. When you put a group of kids together, they just magically come up with activities to occupy themselves for the rest of the party.
Now, I only had to worry about one thing: food! I love Western dishes but since we’re far away from home, any party we’ve been to by a Filipino, serving Filipino dishes is SOP. And so, we did with the help of Mang Jun!
Mang Jun is a former cook of Little Manila and from a previous party I’ve been to, he delivered terrific, yummy food. So I called him up and we just talked about everything over the phone and he delivered on the day with no problem (well, except that it was raining and I was really scared if the food will get to the party on time!).
I ordered Filipino classics: dinuguan, menudo, pansit, puto, and buko pandan. Just 5 but it really was a hit with guests. I’ve tried Mang Jun’s bopis and biko too and both were perfect!
For catering and if you are craving for Filipino meals during the weekend (he cooks weekend meals for small orders), call up Mang Jun at 090912755.