Cuc Gach Quan in Ho Chi Minh City

A Famous Nostalgic Restaurant in Saigon

Rachel Tran
Rachel Tran | Published: October 21, 2019

How long haven’t you eaten a mother-made dinner or when was the last time you had a meal with your parents? Nowadays, people get so busy with jobs and lives that they do not have enough time to have a meal with the family or spend time cooking for themselves or for their relatives. Therefore, family meal gradually becomes a luxurious and strange thing with a part of the youth, especially in big cities. This is the reason why architect Tran Binh open Cuc Gach Quan restaurant to recall the memory of familiar warm family meals for guests coming there.

If you are an overseas guest and you want to enjoy truly Vietnamese cuisine in a very Vietnamese way, Cuc Gach Quan is a well-worthy option to discover. Read the below to get useful information for your list of worth-trying restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City.

    Location: 10 Dang Tat Street, Tan Dinh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
    Opening hours: 09:00am ~ 11:00pm from Monday to Sunday
    Phone: 028 3848 0144
    Website: http://www.cucgachquan.com.vn/
    Specialty type: Vietnamese cuisine
    Price range: about 110.000 VND / dish

Highlights of Cuc Gach Quan Restaurant

There is no need for five-star complicated global dishes with expensive rare ingredients or well-known imported wines, Cuc Gach Quan still makes a unique impression on guests by its homely but delicious Vietnamese cuisine.

Inside Cuc Gach quan

A special thing about Cuc Gach Quan is that there is not any menu in advance for guests to choose from. And, guests only say how many people there are and when they are ready to enjoy a tasty meal, the staff will lay dishes on the table for them. However, guests need not worry because all the dishes there are made carefully to perfection from fresh ingredients to keep the authentic taste of Vietnamese cuisine. It is similar to family dinners in our house. Our mom goes to the market and cooks yummy dishes without asking what we want to eat, so each meal is a magic discovery.

Each meal served in Cuc Gach Quan is an outstanding example of Vietnam’s traditional meals in the past. Normally, there are four portions of Vietnam’s traditional meal: rice, soup, a stir-fried dish, and a salty one. Focus on healthy green ingredients, dishes in Cuc Gach Quan are mainly processed from vegetables to bring a balanced and nutritious meal for guests.

Rice is the most familiar and indispensable dish in every Vietnamese traditional meal. It is said that if there is no rice in the meal, it can not be called a truly family dinner in Vietnam. The familiar old image in the countryside in Vietnam is at dusk, from the roof of small houses is white smoke flying onto with the fragrance of new rice. Maybe, for every Vietnamese people, that image all recalls their childhood. Nowadays, it is difficult to see such an image, especially in big cities but now guests can find it in Cuc Gach Quan, a small restaurant in the most bustling district of Ho Chi Minh City.

Dishes at Cuc Gach quan

Rice seems to get the best taste when it is cooked in cast iron pots on wood stoves or straw stoves like the way people did normally in the past before gas stove, electronic pot became as popular as now. There are some types of rice served in Cuc Gach Quan which are cooked in different traditional ways but all to perfection such as white rice, fried rice with seafood, fried rice with onion and garlic and so on. Each bowl of rice there expresses the heart of the chef and lives up to everyone’s expectation. 

The other dishes there are true of home food, the old-style traditional home food in the last century. Not expensive but priceless for someone who no longer eats such a true-meaning home meal is the true meaning of opening Cuc Gach Quan. Processed from countryside-familiar ingredients and vegetables, these dishes are all fresh and bring authentic taste. Fried tofu with egg and lemongrass, crispy bacon served with pickles, Vietnamese pickled eggplant, katuk soup with meat and so many country foods attract guests coming here to get the familiar feeling of home meals.

It is also the service quality of the staff that attracts more and more customers coming there to enjoy like-home moments. The staff is so friendly and nice that coming to the restaurant, no one feels strange, we are all relatives and enjoying dining time together after hard-working hours. It is really suitable to gather family, friends, relatives, meet partners or organize warm birthday parties, dates. Especially, Cuc Gach Quan still opens in the Lunar New Year, and if you come at this time, the staff will tell you “make yourself at home” and they will treat you like the relatives with a warm heart. 

Architecture & Decoration

Decoration of Cuc Gach Quan

Because the owner of Cuc Gach Quan is an architect, the architecture and decoration of the restaurant immediately make a great impression on guests at first sight. The restaurant was originally an old French villa located on a quiet alley so the atmosphere there is always peaceful. The restaurant has its reputation for the unique classical beauty so the first feeling of almost guests first coming there is that the restaurant is like an old house in Ho Chi Minh City at the time when that city was considered as a pearl of the Far East.

Outside the restaurant are a high white wall surrounding the house and the colorful paper flower truss above the green gate, the familiar image of French-style old villas. There are three floors in Cuc Gach Quan with different decoration ways. 

The first floor has a large yard like in every old house in Vietnam in the past. The yard next to a small pond with high grapefruit tree at the corner, orchid pots hanging in front of the porch, wildflowers bushes growing on both sides of the path recollects our childhood living with family in the peaceful countryside. Walking through the path, we enter the main house. There is not much furniture in the house and all are ancient, even broken but very close to us such as cassettes, a bookcase full of old newspapers and books, antique wooden tables and chairs, chopsticks tube made of French old metal milk cans and so on.

To reach the second floor, tourists have to go up an outside wooden stairway with the fancy design looking like made of the branch of old trees. The main colors of this floor are yellow, white, and brick brown to bring guests the feeling as they came back time to enjoy dinner in the house in the 1900s. The dinner tables and other items in the rooms are materials from nature and reused to protect the environment. For example, straws used there are the trunks of water spinach and there is no bottled drink served there to reduce the number of plastic bottles.

The last floor is the terrace of the villa, an outdoor area where guests can enjoy dining time under the sky. The third floor makes an impression on guests with its decoration way. The main color of this area is the green coming from trees. There are many pots of trees in many sizes put everywhere there to bring again the fresh and relaxing feeling to guests.

It is an unforgettable culinary experience for anyone who tried to enjoy a home meal under the moonlight in a peaceful atmosphere such as in a small garden in the countryside. What a great place!

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