The Elusive Rice Plate Restaurant: ‘Six Months Off, Six Months On’ Yet Always Buzzing with Customers.

In the vibrant city of Saigon, a unique com tam (broken rice) restaurant captures the hearts of locals and visitors alike. What sets this eatery apart is its intriguing seasonal schedule; it opens for only six months of the year, shrouding the remaining months in anticipation. Nestled on Nguyen Trai Street, Com Tam So 1 invites patrons on a culinary journey like no other. This establishment has crafted a dining experience that transcends the ordinary, enticing diners to embark on a quest for flavors that can only be savored during its brief yet memorable operational period.


Com Tam So 1 Nguyen Trai is a renowned restaurant located at 277/36 Nguyen Trai, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. With a history spanning over 50 years, this eatery has become an integral part of the vibrant city of Saigon. Loved by many, the restaurant offers a unique taste of “com tam” – a Vietnamese broken rice dish, served with grilled pork chop, shredded pork skin, and a delicious dipping sauce. What sets this place apart is its “6 months on, 6 months off” style of operation. Join us as we explore Com Tam So 1 Nguyen Trai and discover if it lives up to its fame!

1 Introducing Com Tam So 1 Nguyen Trai

About Com Tam So 1 Nguyen Trai

Restaurant Quality: 4.4/5 (Rated by Google)

Address: 150/1 Nguyen Trai, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Opening Hours: 06:00 – 13:00 (Usually crowded around 08:00)

Price Range: 50,000 – 80,000 VND

Phone Number: None

Website: None

Facebook: None

Delivery: None

Menu: Broken rice with pork chop, shredded pork skin, pork skin and crab meat patty, pork skin and crab meat patty with egg, etc.

Signature Dish: Broken rice with pork chop, shredded pork skin, crab meat patty (Approximately 80,000 VND)

Pros: Long-established restaurant, clean ambiance, fast service, friendly owner

Cons: To be updated

Com Tam So 1 Nguyen Trai is a well-known and long-standing restaurant in Saigon, located at 256/26 Nguyen Trai, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1. Established in 1963, it has become a beloved fixture in the city, welcoming both locals and tourists alike.

Com Tam So 1 Nguyen Trai captivates its patrons not only with its delicious and flavorful dishes but also with the warmth and hospitality of its staff. Each plate of broken rice is carefully prepared using only the freshest and finest ingredients, ensuring food safety and quality. The result is a memorable culinary experience for all who dine here.

The restaurant’s unique selling point is its distinctive style of operation: “6 months on, 6 months off.” According to the owner, this approach allows her to balance her business with her personal life.

Com Tam So 1 Nguyen Trai: A Long-standing and Renowned Restaurant in Saigon

2 What Makes Com Tam So 1 Nguyen Trai So Enticing to Diners?

Rich History and Signature Flavors

Com Tam So 1 has been a fixture in Saigon since 1963, passing through two generations and becoming a beloved destination for those craving the traditional taste of Saigon’s broken rice.

Ms. Lan, the daughter who took over the restaurant, continues to dedicate herself to preserving the family’s culinary legacy, even at her age of almost 70. The aromatic pot of broken rice, always simmering over a charcoal stove, is complemented by a range of mouthwatering dishes such as grilled pork chops, shredded pork skin and crab patties, fried eggs, and pork fat soup, to name a few.

The highlight of the meal is the crispy burnt rice, a favorite among patrons. The shredded pork skin and crab patties are made using a unique recipe, substituting crab for the usual egg patty, resulting in a distinctive flavor. The grilled pork chops are perfectly marinated, tender, and flavorful. The dipping sauce, a closely guarded family recipe, ties all the elements together, creating a scrumptious and irresistible dish.

Rich History and Signature Flavors

“6 Months On, 6 Months Off”

The restaurant’s unique approach to operations, “6 months on, 6 months off,” is a key attraction for diners. As shared by the owner, this style allows her to take a break and focus on her family and herself after years of dedicated work.

When asked about the reason for this schedule, Ms. Lan humorously explained that visiting her children overseas required her to close the restaurant for extended periods. In addition to this extended break, the restaurant also remains closed on the full moon days of each month.

Prices at Com Tam So 1 range from 50,000 to 80,000 VND, slightly higher than average, but well worth the exceptional quality and freshness of the ingredients. Patrons can expect to indulge in carefully prepared dishes that embody the restaurant’s time-honored traditions.

Ms. Lan, the heart and soul of Com Tam So 1, has dedicated her life to the restaurant since her youth. Each day, she rises as early as 2:30 AM to source the finest ingredients and prepare the day’s meals. Her attention to detail and wealth of experience shine through in every dish, captivating the taste buds of all who dine here.

The restaurant has cultivated a loyal customer base, with many patrons returning for decades. They are drawn not only to the distinctive flavors but also to the warmth and hospitality of Ms. Lan.

“6 Months On, 6 Months Off”

Com Tam So 1 Nguyen Trai is the ultimate destination for a true taste of Saigon’s broken rice. With its unique flavors and exceptional service, it continues to captivate diners from all walks of life. Don’t miss out on this culinary gem!

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