HCMC Dining Guide

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Getting crabby

I've had countless people here tell me about the soft shell crab place on Dinh Tien Hoang over the years, but for some reason I always forgot about it whenever I was thinking of new places to try. I finally made it over there tonight with one of my roommates.

Located on the right side of Dinh Tien Hoang, just before Dien Bien Phu towards the top end of District 1, this simple restaurant has a big sign out front with the number '94' on it. This is not to be confused with the other 94 restaurant a few doors down, as that is a copycat. The correct 94 has crates of live crabs sitting out front.

We sat down at a stainless steel table and looked through the menu, which has both English and pictures, thus making it idiot-proof. Unsurprisingly the options focus on crab, with prices ranging from reasonable to surely outrageous for a whole steamed crab. Cha gio (fried spring rolls) and a few shrimp dishes are also offered. We went for crab fried rice, the famous fried crabs, and the spring rolls. The rice was just awesome, with big chunks of crabmeat mixed in. Four full soft shell crabs were then set down, along with a great tomato sauce. The crabs were crispy, fresh and plenty big enough. The generous helping of spring rolls, served with bun, sauce, lettuce and mint leaves was great. These were actually among the best cha gio I've had here (though the title for best still belongs to Banh Xeo 46A near Tan Dinh market).
All of this, plus two Sapporos, came out to roughly 460,000. Definitely not the cheapest dinner, but not bad considering how much crab we had. Plus, the older woman who took our order understood all of my Vietnamese without hesitation, which is always enough to garner a recommendation from me.

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