HCMC Dining Guide

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Food Porn

If you're hungry, don't read this.

 Last night I had the privilege of attending a private press testing of four dishes crafted by the new Chef de Cuisine at Square One, the sprawling signature restaurant at the Park Hyatt, possibly the city's swankiest hotel. Soren Lascelles is from Australia and cut his teeth at the best restaurant in his native country before moving on to a Michelin-star establishment in London. He's been in Saigon for a couple of months now and had never been to Asia before this, so he still getting a feel of how to combine local ingredients with his background in French cooking, but everything he cooked up was fabulous. The first three dishes were also paired with a carefully selected glass of wine.


 First up was sea bass with a seared scallop, cauliflower, and asparagus with a Vietnamese curry sauce.
 Next was chicken wrapped in proscuitto and filled with foie gras, along with a chicken leg and walnuts. This was absurdly good.
 The "main" course was ribeye, cooked to perfection, with a crispy potato galette and roasted eggplant. This was one of the best pieces of meat I've had in a while. And look at those colors!

 For dessert the new pastry chef, Frenchman Bertrand Sommereux, crafted Asian-style dumplings filled with local fruit along with a lemongrass sorbet stuffed into a thin roll of chocolate. This dish was remarkably refreshing, perfect for a humid Saigon night.

I don't know enough about food to get too specific about any of this, but all of the dishes were fresh, well-presented, and absolutely delicious. And not to mention free. Such a meal would probably normally cost at least $30 (just guessing, this was my first time going to the 5-star Park Hyatt), making this another entry on my list of Reasons Why I Like Working For A Magazine.

Speaking of which, on Saturday night I made an appearance as the AisaLIFE rep at the 20th birthday celebration of Gardenstadt, a Dong Khoi institution that serves draft Krombacher and massive helpings of German food. This turned into a race against myself, as I quickly stuffed free sausage down my gullet in order to avoid getting too drunk as servers handed me a fresh glass of beer every time the one in my hand was half-empty. And I didn't even have to write anything about it, I literally just had to show up and say Hi. There are worse jobs in the world...

3 comments:

  1. Wow.. I definitely should have heeded your warning. Everything looks amazing.. I know you enjoyed that meal. Glad you are enjoying your job! I have to admit I'm totally jealous.

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  2. I did indeed enjoy it...although I think even a dead person would have!

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  3. It is so nice experience of me. i like it. Thanks for it.

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