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Dao Place: Lobster Pho review – by Cheri The Glutton

Our accustomed pho with lobster? “Nonsense” you might think. But it might actually go well. We’ll find out!  

Managed by Well-Experienced Group, Not Just For Travellers

This place is on Le Thanh Ton St., near Ben Thanh market. In this area, there are many chain restaurants for travellers, which the locals usually don’t visit… Well, I personally don’t.

That’s why I hadn’t tried this restaurant for ages. To be precise, I didn’t notice it. It’s often said we see what we want to see. That’s exactly it!

But once I noticed the restaurant, it’s so tempting. Look at this standee!

“Lobster Pho”!

The most expensive pho I’d had was around 200K dong.

I heard there’s a $100 banh mi, but it’s too expensive to me. But this gorgeous pho is at 500k, somewhat affordable. I mean it’s expensive as pho. Maybe 10 times more. If you are familiar with ramen, think this way. You are eating 7000 yen ramen. Oh, wow! Apparently there’s 1000k pho too. But this pho is half price and comes with lobster. Yes!

A Famous Japanese Politician Came Here!?

To my surprise, the atmosphere is really nice for this area(sorry!). Very spacious. And there’s a cute-ish space back there.

There are many awards displayed on the wall( which I don’t understand what those for). A famous Japanese politician apparently came here in the past too. Maybe youngsters don’t know him but check it out when you come here.

I was kind of curious about this restaurant, so I talked to their staff, probably manager there and found out that they are in a same group as Vietnam House and other long-established restaurants. And this place was opened in 2017 as a replacement of one of their restaurants. So they are well-experienced in F&B scene in Ho Chi Minh. I see.

When found lobster pho, I was expecting this place as an unorthodox restaurant. But actually not.

Many Options Unexpectedly

As expected, lobster pho is on the top page of the menu.

When it comes to restaurants, it’s better to have a come-on. This place has this, that place has that. Something attractive. It could be the only dish at a noodle place. Or one special plate among many, for example. Anyway, a come-on is very important.  

It’s lobster pho that this restaurant are proud of. It’s an excellent PR for the place with minimum cost.   

But they also have a lot of plates to choose from. Of course, they have spring rolls (both fresh and fried) which usually travellers would go with.

See, you can tell from the menu they have many years of expertise. Oh, there’s hot pot as well. I will try some of those next time.  

Lobster Here!

Oh, wow!

Look at this aura! This is the lobster! I’m used to eating lobster, because I eat it often at hotel buffet in Saigon, but it’s still exciting to see it with an unusual style like this!

With 500k, herbs look great somehow (or maybe not…)

Actually, only big lobster was available on that day, so I went for it with extra 100k. So keep in mind sometimes it might cost a bit more than you expect.

Noodle itself was quite normal but harmonious as a dish. Soup was like “canh chua” which is a Vietnamese sweet and sour broth made of tomatoes and pineapples. Sometimes it is used as a soup for hotpot as well.

Clam and other seafoods essence were moderately added to this pho soup, which accentuates the lobster on top. I mean the soup is flavourful but not too strong, so the dish is well-balanced as a whole.

Look at this lobster! Cut exactly in half. Pretty easy to eat! It would be much harder to eat if not cut like this.

And once opened it…?


Tomalley! lobster tomalleyyyyyyy!

Can you see!? Zoomed photo here!

How beautiful!

I’m happy with this. Price? So what!

Seafoods in District 1 are quite expensive, so at this price it’s hard to get especially fresh lobster like this.    

It comes with a plate, place the lobster on it.

As you can see, the meat inside is easy to peel from the shell with fork.

See, the meat in the body is also gorgeous! More than one full bite. And this texture! So Gooood! Yes, happiness comes with a mouth full of lobster.

Btw, this lobster is so huge and filling, so I would suggest you go there with empty stomach. (when going to buffet, remember to eat those filling foods later otherwise you cannot enjoy other food fully. Silly advice, you think??)  

If you think the soup is too simple, you might want to add this green chilli sauce. Not many foreigners try this sauce because of the colour but I personally like its refreshing flavour. Sometimes it elevates the dish to another level. Just try when you have it at restaurants.

Great Option for Lobster Overall

When you hear “500k dong for a bowl of pho”, it would sound like extravagant for sure. But if you think you can enjoy lobster only at 500k dong, it would be another story. Of course we have good hotel buffets with lobsters but they are more than 1mil 1,3mil. And you cannot go there casually, right?

What about seafood restaurants? It would be around 1mil/kg, I think. Many foreigners come to Southeast Asia for crabs and lobsters with a notion that they can have them here reasonably, but especially in Saigon, that’s not the case.

Sometimes coastal towns have reasonable seafood, but still lobster is not that affordable and we cannot order only lobsters. Given those, this restaurant is a place you can casually enjoy.If travelling to Saigon, it would be a great memory to tell, I’m sure! Btw, I drank up the soup.

Restaurant Detail

Dao Place

220 Le Thanh Ton Q1

Time : 10:00 – 23:00

Spent : 750,000 vnd / person

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Taku Tanaka

Taku Tanaka