On a map, it is called Ho Chi Minh City but this clean, groovy, welcoming place is only called Saigon by those who live here. Vietnamese food has become ubiquitous in North America for quick, cheap eats but our menu base typically does not go beyond a few favourite dishes. Driving in from the airport, the streets are filled with scooters, unlike other parts of South East Asia where cars rule. The shops are inviting, the produce is shouting at me “take my pic, buy me, eat me” and everyone is moving smoothly, no panic, just doing their thing. I’m here to explore the markets, meet the cooks and look beyond the obvious, well, only after a couple of stabs at my go to dishes like Pho. Anna and I tucked into our first sample late morning in a coffee shop filled with office workers, the only thing making it even more special tother than actually being in Saigon was the fact that in mid-February, the music running over the system was Kenny G playing Jingle Bells, true story. And yes, it was spectacular. These pics will give you an idea of what the first couple of hours of walking looks like but look forward to seeing dishes featuring stir fried Morning Glories, steamed Jasmine Flowers with Garlic, and a range of Northern dishes that I have never tasted. Am I a little excited? Yuh-huh.