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The Quest for Great Restaurant Service

By: Tim Russell Posted: July-31-2009 in
Tim Russell

Last Wednesday I took a potential partner for dinner at Saigon bistro The Refinery. The food and service were, as ever, amongst the best you’ll encounter anywhere in the country - unlike pretty much anywhere in Vietnam, the restaurant’s staff manage to provide service that’s confident, laid-back and friendly, while remaining efficient and professional. That’s something that Vietnamese waiting staff regularly fail to pull off, more on which shortly.

Observations of Saigon Street Life

By: Allyson Keane Posted: August-24-2009 in
Allyson Keane

Here’s a little report on my observations of street life in Saigon.... as it is the place where life (and death) seem to centre.

Looking Down
I seem to spend an inordinate amount of my time here looking down - quite practical given the nature of the uneven pavements, if they exist, and the Vietnamese penchant for placing rubbish of all kinds in small piles for collection or burning at some stage. Yesterday as I left my guesthouse I was ambling along watching the gutter as usual, when a Bedford van, highly decorated in what looked like Hindu metal work, blocked my path. As I negotiated the open doors, a large orange funeral casket of the highly lacquered wood favoured here, complete with clear Perspex lid was being unloaded from the back of it. In every town there seems to be a casket maker, ranging from simple wood and stone to quite ornately decorated affairs, highly painted and trimmed with gold.

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