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Xu, Ho Chi Minh City

71–75 Hai Ba Trung Street
Level One
District 1
Ho Chi Minh City
Tel: 84 8 824 8468's insider take:

Australian-born restaurateur Bien Nguyen made over the stolid office space of the Ministry of Information into this sleek, second-story hideaway that is light-years removed from a Chinatown pho dive. Vietnamese sophisticates kick back on the lounge's oversize ottomans, sipping lemongrass-infused sake-tinis, grazing on grilled grouper-stuffed pancakes with ginger dressing, and grooving to the Buddha Bar–style music. The adjacent 90-seat dining room is just as design-conscious and delicious, with a menu that mixes traditional fare, such as fresh coi guon rolls (prawns, pork, and noodles wrapped in rice paper), with contemporary Vietnamese, like a tangy salad of sliced beef and herbs with tamarind dressing or pan-roasted prawns with sambal oil and mango dumplings. At Xu's relatively expensive prices, however, we would expect more creative food presentation.

Open daily 11:30 am to midnight.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.