Thien Nam Restaurant, Saigon - review by Rusty Compass
Ho Chi Minh City | eating guide

Independent reviews and recommendations by Rusty Compass. No advertorial, no paid placements and no sponsored content.

Thien Nam Restaurant, Saigon

| 10 Aug 2018
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Thien Nam Restaurant, Saigon
53 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia St, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City (cnr Ham Nghi St)
Lunch and dinner 7 days


Price guide: $$$

10 Aug 2018

Old school Chinese restaurant, dating back to the 1950s. Grand building, quirky interior. A good stop for the nostalgic. Busy at lunchtime.

Note: The information provided in this review was correct at time of publishing but may change. For final clarification please check with the relevant service

If, like us, you’re on a perpetual search for connections to the past when you travel, Thien Nam Chinese restaurant will be worth a stop. Set in a colonial era corner building along what was once a small Chinese enclave in the city, this may be one of the oldest restaurants in town.

The owners tell me it’s been in the same Chinese family since the early 1950s - and the founder can still be spotted from time to time around the place.

The building’s a beauty and the fitout is fabulously stuck in another era. Owning the real estate is the only thing that keeps places like this alive in Saigon. The wrecking ball has been hard at work in the neighbourhood around Thien Nam.

Dependable Chinese food that's not cheap - but less expensive than more fancy Chinese restaurants around town.

There’s also a menu of western dishes that probably hasn’t changed much since the sixties. The owners provide a warm welcome.

You’ll have no sense of what’s happening outside night or day. The windows are sealed. Feels more like a gaudy nightclub or an underground casino. Perfect!

Thien Nam is close by Le Cong Kieu (Antique St) and the Fine Arts Museum.


Rusty Compass recommendations are always independent. We list the places we think you should know about. That’s it. We paid our way at Thien Nam and no money changed hands for this recommendation.

Mark Bowyer
Mark Bowyer is the founder and publisher of Rusty Compass.
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