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DISTRICT 5

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Photographs: David Straight

District 5 is two small sheds around a deck on Shortland Street, in the lee of corporate office towers and we presume they’re referring to District 5 in Ho Chi Minh City rather than Panem in the Hunger Games. It’s very bright and it’s painted colours you find all over Vietnam – a soft, washed-out yellow and a bleached sort of teal. It opened a month or so back and was quickly adopted by local office workers.

They serve classic Vietanamese streetfood here: the menu is short and changes often but there is usually a pho ($12) and a banh mi ($12) and some fresh spring rolls ($10) and a noodle salad ($13). The pho is great – beefy and rich and tangy. The banh mi is a thing of beauty – we recommend the spicy pork, a crunchy-airy Vietnamese baguette, pate, with plenty of chilli and pickled vegetables.

It is fresh, simple street food with zest, and this is made all that much better by the fact that they serve Vietnamese coffee: thick and strong and a bit tarry, with a slug of sweetened condensed milk. Amen. SFG

HOURS 7am to 3pm, Monday to Friday

ADDRESS 28 Shortland Street, City.

IMPORTANT DETAILS The pork and chicken is “free-farmed”. Not quite free range, but great to see a cheap eat doing this.

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