May 2008

Huy Long Viên – Ho Chi Minh City

April 20, 2008
Cuisine: Chinese

99 Nguyen Du Street
District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Phone: 823 7799
Website: none

All U Can Eat Dim Sum (120,000 VND per person)

I like everything about dim sum except for the time of day it is consumed. For me, mornings are about whole grains and fresh fruit, not soy sauce and porky oiliness. Don’t get me wrong, I love the swine, just not before 1 PM.

The Astronomer, on the other hand, is always hankering for meaty dumplings. I gave into his wishes a few weeks back because he did lots of research to locate the best dim sum in town.

We headed to Huy Long Viên with Hawkins and Hanh (The Astronomer’s Vietnamese teacher) in tow on a sunny Sunday. Although I wanted to avoid overeating, the all-you-can-eat deal was just too irresistible to pass up. Plus, everyone was doing it and I’m a follower.

Unlike traditional dim sum joints with rolling carts and brash women, here we ordered off a menu and the food was made to order. It was civilized and all, but missing the rowdiness that I love about dim sum places.

The shrimp, beef and pork wrapped in thin rice paper sheets and drizzled with a soy broth were some of my favorites. The shrimp and scallop dumplings were also damn good. However, after a solid hour of dim summing, each container of steamed dumplings started to taste like the previous. And that’s when we knew it was time to get out of there.

The all-you-can-eat option also comes with unlimited desserts. The only item that appealed to Hanh and I was the mango pudding and sadly, they were out. Unfair!

We left Huy Long Viên filled with too much meaty goodness in our tummies. To work off our feast, we headed to a nearby playground…

The Astronomer and Hawk having a dizzying time. I stayed on the sidelines and snapped away. By the way, playground equipment in Vietnam is much more fun because there’s always an element of danger.

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6 thoughts on “Huy Long Viên – Ho Chi Minh City

  1. That’s a darn cute little dumpling there! I wish I could have dim sum and tea every single day for breakfast. *sighs*

    LOL. You’re so right about the playground equipment “having an element of danger”! As I traveled around VN, I realized that I really miss the ubiquitous warning and caution signs in the US. I know…live a little, right? 🙂

  2. Chinese cuisines are often said to be tasty and delicious, especially those owned by Chinese practitioners. Many Vietnamese businesspeople have managed to open Chinese restaurants in HCMC that are able to compete with numerous eateries that offer authentic Chinese food here, and Huy Long Vien is one of the cases.

    Huy Nhat, the owner of Huy Long Vien Restaurant, is having a dim sum dish at the restaurant.
    Huy Nhat, an American Vietnamese, and his wife, a Shanghai designer, opened a Chinese restaurant named Huy Long Vien in HCMC’s District 1 one month ago, aiming to serve many kinds of food from different regions in China to both Vietnamese and Chinese diners.

    “I see that there are more and more Chinese investors and businessmen coming to HCMC for business and living, and this is a good opportunity to open a Chinese restaurant here, he says, adding: “I had lived a few years in China, so it is an advantage.”

    Six years ago, Nhat, an MBA graduate from Pepperdine University in the US, came to China to work. There, he traveled big miles around the country as well as to Hong Kong and Taiwan, and experienced many kinds of food.

    Last summer, he and a business mission from Hong Kong and Taiwan went to Vietnam to sound out investment opportunities. In first days, these people had Vietnamese dishes; however, for the following days, they wanted to experience their home food. So the business idea was conceived in Huy Nhat’s mind, and he decided to open a Chinese restaurant in Vietnam.

    Huy Long Vien, as his restaurant is named, offers more than 300 Chinese dishes prepared by Chinese and Hong Kong chefs. Especially, Beijing Duck and Abalone soup with shredded meat are highlights in the Huy Long Vien Restaurant’s menu.

    The restaurant’s staff are professionals. They include the restaurant manager Maggie Yeung, who had worked at the same position in a big restaurant in Hong Kong, and executive chef Wong Hai from Hong Kong, who has got many awards in cooking.

    Besides, seven Chinese and Hong Kong chefs in the restaurant are in charge of each different section.

    Nhat said that after going around markets in HCMC, these chefs realized that food in Vietnam is fresh and abundant, so Chinese dishes made in Vietnam can be more delicious than those in China.

    As for the decoration, the 1,500-sq.m restaurant is designed completely in the Chinese style. Materials ranging from bowls, plates, and table cloths to lamps and calligraphic pictures were bought from China.

    “We design the restaurant in a special way so that both Chinese and Vietnamese can feel that they are in a restaurant in China, not in Vietnam,” Nhat says. “So, it is an address for not only dining but also studying the Chinese culture.

    The 32-year-old man, who is member of the Sino Alliance Group – a supporter of Huy Long Vien, is now very busy with works in both China and Vietnam. He has five Vietnamese restaurants in Shanghai and this Chinese restaurant Huy Long Vien in HCMC. He plans to open two more restaurants in Vietnam.

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