5ku station

5ku station

5ku station

Set on busy Thai Van Lung in a lot that once was a hotel is 5ku station, a fresh take on the traditional hot pot places you find around Ho Chi Minh City. Judging by the almost full restaurant on a Sunday night, I think the concept is working.

The view from across the street

The view from across the street

A mix of hip Saigonese and western tourists and expatriates were in the mix in the al fresco restaurant. We were seated in the middle of it and went to looking through the menu. A disconcerting element of the restaurant was that several of the wooden tables had scorch marks on them with holes peeking through the tabletops. Not an sign of confidence for a restaurant that specializes in BBQ and is predominately all wood.

I think we may need an escape plan in case of fire

I think we may need an escape plan in case of fire

The service was be hit and miss as it took awhile for the waiter to get our order. However, with the exception of that one hiccup, the service was fast and efficient. The menu is reasonably priced and varied. You can order dishes from the kitchen, or opt for the DIY approach and have some barbecued items or a hotpot. We went for the DIY approach and ordered a bunch of items to barbecue. Fish runs 114,000 Dong, meats run 84,000 Dong and Veggies run 49,000 Dong. A bottle of Heineken will run you 20,000 Dong.

pork, chicken and ostrich ready to be cooked

pork, chicken and ostrich ready to go

If you go DIY, a waiter in all black brings out a clay pot with some very hot coals and a grill. Next comes up your mixture of food and tongs. Like all barbecue places of this nature, be ready to stink of smoke and grilled meats for the rest of the night.

Chilling and grilling

Chilling and grilling

Once we got our pot, we were relieved to find that it had a metal guard to keep the heat off the wooden table! Grilling your own meat is always fun for me and I loved the informal, chilled out atmosphere of the place.

barbecue is what it's all about

barbecue is what it’s all about

We were also given some leaf lettuce and a chili lime dipping sauce. It seemed like an afterthought until we used the lettuce to wrap our grilled meats and dipped them. The lettuce was slightly bitter which combined with the marinated meats and tart dipping sauce made for a full bodied taste sensation!

a side thought

a side thought

We were very full at the end of the meal and would definitely go back for another nom nom.

Some more pics of the evening:

Some patrons enjoying the evening

Some patrons enjoying the evening

A waiter taking an order

A waiter taking an order

calamari on the grill

a second round included some calamari

smoky...

smoky…

5ku station
29 Thai Van Lung
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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