After a period of refurbishment, Opera Restaurant in the Park Hyatt Saigon recently reopened its doors to hungry hotel guests and walk-in customers.

A restaurant with the MasterChef name attached to it sets up a series of expectations; décor, vibe and, of course, the food.

Being a big fan of cats in cafés, I was thrilled to see that Ban Café has its very own feline mascot. On a recent visit, Bong (Ban Café cat number three — his two predecessors are missing in action) was lounging comfortably on a large floor cushion by an open window, without a care in the world. And that probably sums up the Ban Café vibe; it’s a great place to chill.

Four dinners, four erstwhile chefs, and four nights of great food. Edward Dalton and three other hosts prepare dinner parties and get marked on how well they do. For the first time ever, the popular British cooking show, Come Dine with Me, has come to Hanoi — kind of.

Don’t be frightened off by the name, because this Mad Cow is nothing like what you’re probably thinking. Mad Cow Wine & Grill is located on the 30th floor of the Pullman Saigon Centre; a self-proclaimed combination of edgy grill with the casual tone of an urban wine bar. Its motto is Mad about Wine, Serious about Food.

The Thao Dien ‘bubble’ is a familiar expression when talking about the expat-friendly area of District 2, and Tropicana, on the 9th floor of the Nam Anh building, offers a great vantage point over it.

Two years since opening, Linguini Fini continues to go from strength to strength. With an extensive menu using only the freshest ingredients and home-made pastas, it’s easy to see why.

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