iKEM Ice Cream and Saigon Airport Apricot Lounge – Food and Lounge Review

Firstly – some ice cream before we go!

One of the great things about living in Hong Kong and also traveling within South East Asia is that you can really squeeze as much out of a weekend of travel as much as possible with night flights. This is what we did recently when we visited Ho Chi Minh – because the flight on our last day was late afternoon – we were able to explore a bit more around the Intercontinental Saigon, and walking around, we came across what claimed to be the best ice cream in Ho Chi Minh – iKEM.

iKEM was started by celebrity chef Christine Ha – who was the first blind contestant of MasterChef – the idea behind iKEM is that the ice cream is made fresh and cooled with liquid nitrogen. You select the flavour and the staff behind the counter mix and make it right in front of your eyes.

Once done, the liquid nitrogen is poured in to start the cooling process.


After the cooling process ends, they effectively spoon the fresh icecream out, and you’ll have fresh ice cream in no time!

One each so we don’t fight!

The ice cream flavour were relatively traditional flavours like choc mint but were tasty none the less – what did stand out for me was the texture, because of the snap freeze nature of the process – it also melts quickly so the ice cream went down really nicely in the Vietnam heat!

Off to the airport we go…

With our mood brightened by some final bit of ice cream – it was time to head to the airport. The ride was smooth and the airport was relatively plain, so we made our way to the lounge quite quickly – for Cathay Dragon flights, you get to use the Apricot Lounge at Saigon Airport.

Can’t miss the tree!

The lounge itself is not very big, although it was very nice and neat – there were couch seating areas and also the dining hall – staff were very friendly – similar to the service level in the rest of Vietnam.

Given that it was close to night time and I didn’t feel like having the plane food, I decide to have myself a bowl of self made Pho, the soup base was actually quite decent, although the noodles could have a better texture. Whilst eating, I enjoyed the conversation of an older Hong Kong portly gentleman trying to chat up one of the lounge staff with his “Oh, so hard making so much money – you’re from HK too!? Wow, we should meet more!” – good for giggles.

Half decent Pho

With bellies fed, it was time to board and given that we had priority, we weren’t rushed to get to the gate – as I left, I started missing Vietnam already.


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