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Cusco has plenty of lovely little restaurants that serve a variety of Peruvian food. One of the specialities in Peru, or more generally the entire Andean region, is ‘Cuy’, guinea pig. Yes, you read correctly, guinea pig! Whilst it is not common to eat guinea pig in the West, it has been part of the Andean diet for thousands of years. Yes, not a thought we are used to, after all guinea pigs are our cute little furry pets, right?

Where-to-eat-in-Cusco-Peruvian-Food-Cuy

So if you are in Peru and would like to try Cuy, make sure you have done your research as not every restaurant serves Cuy. Also read reviews before you go to a restaurant as Cuy is a specialty and needs to be prepared correctly. A restaurant that was recommended to us in Cusco is KusiKuy which is famous for their Cuy. The prices are a bit higher than at the usual places you come across while travelling in Peru but the food and their Pisco Sour are worth it.

KusiKuy is located a 10 min walk away from the Plaza de Armas in Cusco. It’s a pretty walk so no need to take a taxi for this. The taxi can’t help you with the last bit anyway..

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So, once you have walked up these stairs – keep in mind Cusco is 3,400 m above sea level – you have deserved a Pisco Sour!

The interior of KusiKuy is characterised by a contemporary design that is integrated in a rustic and cosy setting. A lovely mix of modern and traditional. They offer a variety of Peruvian dishes, so even if you don’t want to try their Cuy, you will not have to leave this place hungry. The preparation of the Cuy takes a bit of time, so don’t come here in a hurry. Instead order a starter and a Pisco Sour and relax.

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The Cuy will first be brought to you as a ‘whole’, ‘para tomar fotos’ (to take photos) if you like. Then the Cuy will be prepared and served again, this time ready to eat. What first looked like a huge portion of food, suddenly looks a lot smaller and you will most likely be able to finish one by yourself.

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The taste of Cuy is relatively similar to chicken or rabbit but the texture of the meat is different and a bit more ‘elastic’. I have tried Cuy now a few times but the one at KusiKuy was one of the best. Once I ordered Cuy (many years ago) at one of these typical ‘cheaper’ restaurants where mostly only locals eat and it wasn’t very good, edible, but not yummy at all. So do your research before you go :)

Pullman Hotel Phuket 00

Phuket is a beautiful island and famous for its paradise beaches and stunning surrounding smaller islands. There are plenty of high-end seaside resorts so you can rest assured you will be in good hands if you plan a SPA holiday on a beautiful beach. And no worries, there is so much to do in Phuket that you don’t have to visit the crazy nightclubs and bars in Patong – unless you want to, of course ;) We decided to go for a relaxing SPA holiday with snorkelling and scuba diving instead, no craziness.

Pullman Hotel Phuket

We chose the Pullman Phuket Panwa Beach Resort which is located in a more quiet part of Phuket. The location was great with no loud and drunk tourists around and your own little private beach. Just a few hundred metres down the road you will find plenty of fish restaurants and also places to rent a scooter. With the scooter you can then explore more of the island and discover all the little hidden beaches of Phuket.

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The food was great at the Pullman Phuket Panwa Beach Resort with both a la carte and buffet options. During breakfast they played quiet ambience music a la Café del Mar and you could sit outside while watching the sunrise. Yes.. I watched the sunrise even twice! That was because we joined one scuba diving and one snorkel trip that both started super early in the morning :)

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The Pullman Panwa Beach Resort has beautiful SPA facilities with excellent massages and treatments. I had a pedicure and a few massages which were all perfect. And one of the therapists was so sweet, after the massage she created a beautiful updo with my hair and put some flowers in :)

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The hotel also organises a romantic candlelight dinner for you on the hotel’s private beach. You can choose from a number of menus and will be offered lots of bubbles :) For our beach dinner the hotel staff decorated the entire part of beach with little lampions which looked super beautiful. And no worries, the beach dinner is set in a remote part, so there won’t be any other guests disturbing your romantic dinner time. FYI the below photo is a bit overexposed, there was only half as much light during dinner – so way more romantic ;)

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And before you leave, you have to try out some nail design! There are lots of nail salons in Phuket that are specialised in stunning nail art. They will literally paint a little piece of art on your finger or toe nails!

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The first time I tried Vietnamese food, it already jumped to the second place of my favourite food list (just behind Japanese which is my absolute favourite food of all!). Having Vietnamese food in London is of course not the same as in Vietnam. Whilst the food sometimes actually does taste quite authentic here (well done, London!), the entire experience couldn’t be more different. I have just spent approximately two months in Vietnam and therefore have lots of restaurant and street food tips to share with you. So here are my 5 reasons why you should visit the Ốc Đào Snail Restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).

5 Reasons Why To Eat At The Ốc Đào Snail Restaurant

1. The Food is super yummy!

Well, Vietnamese food is amazing and you will probably be fine 90% of the time by just taking a random street food place in Saigon. But if you are a fan of snails, then you have to try the Ốc Đào Snail Restaurant! Everything is super fresh and every single dish we ordered was delicious!  To the right of the entrance of the restaurant you can have a look at what’s available on the day and choose your favourite snails to eat inside.

Best Restaurants in Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnamese Food

Best Restaurants in Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnamese Food

Best Restaurants in Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnamese Food

Best Restaurants in Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnamese Food

2. The Variety: Lot’s of snails, clams and mussels to choose from!

Up for trying something new? You are in for a treat! There is such a great variety of snails, clams and mussels at the Ốc Đào Snail Restaurant that I bet you will find something that you haven’t had before. For some dishes I couldn’t even tell whether there where snails or mussels on the plate – all looked way too exotic. But who cares, whatever it was, it was super yummy :)

Best Restaurants in Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnamese Food

3. The Atmosphere: It’s authentic and full of Vietnamese dining culture.

Don’t expect a fine dining place. You come here for good food and a laid back atmosphere. The interior of the Ốc Đào Snail Restaurant is characterised by its Vietnamese plastic-chair-restaurant style and an overall quite chaotic and loud vibe. Whilst the food is great, as in most of Vietnam, this is not a restaurant where you should forget your own toilet paper and hand cleanse gel. Just enjoy the atmosphere, it’s authentic and fun. Order a beer and lots of food and you will have a good time.

Best Restaurants in Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnamese Food

As you’d expect the food is served on whatever is available – nothing needs to match :)

Best Restaurants in Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnamese Food

Best Restaurants in Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnamese Food

Although we were pretty full, the food was so good that we ordered more :) The waiters are quite pragmatic, so why clean the table when you can just put the new plate on top of an empty one. Well, as I mentioned, you don’t come here for fine dining. You come here for great food in an authentic Vietnamese restaurant.

Best Restaurants in Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnamese Food

And also this dish was finished very quickly :)

Best Restaurants in Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnamese Food

4. The Price: You won’t believe how cheap it is!

We ate A LOT. And we paid just a fraction of what we’d pay in London. Plan in £8-10 per person including drinks and you will leave the place super satisfied and very full… You can even get away with just £5 per person and you will still be well fed. Though ordering something from the menu that you haven’t tried yet is super tempting and definitely a good idea given the quality of the food.

5. Location: It’s easy to get to.

As you have probably realised, going around by scooter in Vietnam is super easy. So just rent one at your hotel and make your way over to the restaurant. You can park your scooter in the entrance of the restaurant. If going by scooter is a bit too crazy or you are planning to have a drink, just book an uber or take a taxi in the street (quite safe in Vietnam) and you will be dropped off in front of the entrance. The Ốc Đào Snail Restaurant is located here:

And this is what the entrance looks like.

Best Restaurants in Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnamese Food

Hope you will try out the restaurant when you are in Ho Chi Minh City. Leave a comment below with your experience :)