The most fascinating place to eat in Ho Chi Minh City right now is Cuc Gach Cafe, the latest high-concept restaurant by the architect Binh Tran. Painstakingly furnished to resemble a stylish, midcentury Vietnamese home and offering home-style dinners—stir-fried bok choy; pork stewed in caramel and pepper sauce—it shores up nostalgia for a not-so-distant past, before war and political repression changed everything. When the staff threads a tape onto the vintage player, the plaintive sound of a 1960s Saigonese singer—music that remains banned under Communist rule—moves even Western visitors.
__Cuc Gach Cafe_
79 Phon Ke Binh, Dakao Ward, District 1
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam_