Obamas visit Vietnamese restaurant in Saigon

By Hai Duyen   December 11, 2019 | 04:52 am PT
Former U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle had dinner at a countryside-inspired Vietnamese restaurant in Saigon.

The couple left their hotel at around 6 p.m. on Tuesday and visited a place on Dong Khoi Street before heading for Cuc Gach restaurant on Dang Tat Street.

Obama walks out of Cuc Gach restaurant after the one-hour dinner. Photo acquired by VnExpress.

Obama walks out of Cuc Gach restaurant after an hour-long dinner. Photo by Ngoc Duong.

Barack and Michelle Obama sat on the first floor and ate stir-fried Tonkin jasmine flowers with garlic, stewed pork, spring rolls, and Vietnamese sour soup.  

They asked to pay by card after the meal, but the restaurant manager refused to accept money from them.

Hai, the manager, said they refused to accept it when he said the meal was on the house. "We explained that all the ingredients are grown on our farm, and so we did not spend much on them. Moreover, we wanted to welcome him as a family guest. He then agreed."

He had been told Tuesday afternoon to be ready to "welcome some politicians."

The visitors posed for a photo with Hong, a senior cook at the restaurant, before leaving.

Obama had arrived in HCMC on Sunday during what was his first visit after he relinquished office. He had a meeting with city Party Secretary Nguyen Thien Nhan on Monday while Michelle visited a school in Long An Province in the Mekong Delta to promote girls' education.

The couple are in Kuala Lumpur this week for the Obama Foundation's inaugural "Leaders: Asia-Pacific" event.                                       

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