Cooking classes - Saigon - review by Rusty Compass
Ho Chi Minh City | see and do guide

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Cooking classes - Saigon

| 30 Jan 2014
Cooking classes - Saigon
Our rating
30 Jan 2014

Cooking classes have become all the rage across Vietnam and they're very popular in Saigon too. Here are our picks of Saigon's best cooking classes.

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


As Vietnamese cuisine wins more and more international hearts, the country's culinary offerings become of ever-greater interest  to travellers. Saigon might well be the best place to explore Vietnamese cuisine and if your interest runs deeper, you might want to check out a cooking class as well.

So far I've only had a chance to check the two most popular schools and they're both very good - Saigon Cooking Class by Hoa Tuc and one of the city's long-running, Vietnam Cooking Centre.

Saigon Cooking Class by Hoa Tuc

Saigon Cooking Class is operated by the same people behind the popular Hoa Tuc Restaurant. It's located upstairs from Hoa Tuc in the same downtown block that was a major opium distillery during French colonial times.

The class is professionally run by local chefs with a good grasp of English in a fully set up kitchen. Each participant has their own equipment and ingredients and class sizes are limited to 12.

The half day class includes a visit to Ben Thanh Market to check out where the produce comes from - always an interesting experience. It's also possible to do the lesson without the market visit. Private classes are also available.

The classes prepare three popular Vietnamese dishes.

Both tours are less than US$50 with discounts available for kids. Both are very good and both also offer a range of options for those wanting personalised classes.

Address: 74 Hai Ba Trung, District. 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
Tel: +84 8 3 825 84 85 - Email:
Price - under $50USD

Vietnam Cookery Center

One of Saigon's longest running cooking classes, Vietnam Cookery Centre is located upstairs in a grand French colonial era apartment block on central Dong Khoi St. The setting is a real bonus if you add history and architecture to your culinary passion. The apartment block is next door to the building featured in the famous Saigon helicopter evacuation of Saigon on  29 April 1975.

The tour starts in Ben Thanh market. My guide, Khanh Linh provided a fun and informative rundown on the fruits, veges, herbs and meats on sale. The market visit is good complement to the tour providing you don't mind the occasionally confronting sights and smells of the wet market.

The cooking centre is professionally setup and all class participants have their own equipment.

Our chef spoke Vietnamese and the guide translated and provided wider commentary. At first I thought this might be a drawback but it worked out well. It enabled the guide to focus on commentary and providing personal attention to class participants.

4th Fl, # 26 Ly Tu Trong St., Dist. 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Tel : (84-8) 38 27 03 49 – Fax : (84-8) 38 23 80 85


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