Com 13 (Cơm 13), HCMC

If you’re looking for a local vietnamese restaurant that serves good, authentic vietnamese fare in downtown saigon, Com 13 is the place to go. Located along Ngo Duc Ke street, and just a few doors away from the more well known Hoang Yen and french bistro La Fourchette, its close proximity to Dong Khoi Street makes it an ideal place to have lunch with close friends any time of the week.

I have lost count of the number of times I have eaten here, and the numerous visitors I have brought here on different occasions. Its simple home cooking style keeps drawing me back to their restaurant over and over again. Their sweet and sour pork is delectable and the deep fried pork slices were perfectly deep fried and drenched in their well balanced ketchup based sauce. One dish I never failed to order is their lip-smackingly good ca kho to (caramelised fish in claypot) but those who are watching their blood glucose level might want to refrain from having too much of the gravy that comes with this dish 🙂

Com 13 makes a good rendition of the canh chua ca loc (vietnamese sour soup with mullet fish) too. The mix of okra, snake-head gourd, tomatoes, pineapples, vietnamese sage and fresh fish fillet makes this an interesting soup that I fell in love with the first time I tasted it several years ago. Take the fish out of the soup, and it can be a dish on its own. Simply dip the fillet (beware of the fish bones though) into the fishsauce (or soysauce if you like) provided and have a mouthful of the warm sticky steamed rice . Dee-lish!

Get a serving of their bong thien ly xao toi (stir-fried flowers of a thousand miles with garlic) or rau muong xao toi (water spinach stir fried with garlic) if you’re feeling sinful from all the meat dishes. Otherwise, if you’re game for more sinful indulgence, order the deep fried chicken skins with fish sauce and I can assure you that you’ll be smiling as you sink your teeth into those delightful crackling skins!

And what’s food without wines? The bottle of beaujolais nouveau was nothing to shout about but it’ll make a nice Sunday afternoon drink with its hints of strawberry and candy aromas.

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