Food reviews are different than restaurant ones. And my reviews are not to be mistaken as restaurant reviews. I am a committed recipe developer, and for me food stands greatest over decor, service and ambience. I even don’t care about the number of dishes on the menu, I care only about the taste, and that has to be the greatest of them all.
So the new genre on my ever increasing blog gets a unique kick start with #VeitnamVoyage; reviewing authentic Vietnamese cuisine got to #AmchiMumbai by the talented Chef Son and his team of Sofitel Plaza Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Vietnamese food is simple and primarily boiled. Yes u heard it; it’s boiled with minimal use of fat in cooking! And that makes it probably the healthiest of them all. The spiced Indian palette of ours, with layers of oil sticking on it from the numerous samosa and jalebi, would definitely get refreshed by the fresh clean flavours of Vietnam voyage, by #SofitelHotel, BKC. But sadly, the huge Punjabi family sitting right across my table disagreed, and they ditched the Vietnamese for the Naan and butter chicken, available right there in the next counter. And that I felt was a wonderful way to showcase this unique cuisine. I 100% recommend you to try this fest, on till 3rd June, 2014. Experiment with a new culture, but if you aint happy, you have got the comfort of dal makhni and jeera rice with paneer lababdar waiting on the next counter!
Vietnam was an erstwhile French colony, with big dominant neighbour- china! And the food reflects both these cultures quite hugely. Surrounded by the sea, fresh fish finds a proud place in the cuisine, followed by beef and staple rice. And Mumbai gave our chefs the freshest of sea fishes to play with, in creating a huge array of authentic Vietnamese Pho (broth) and boiled sea food on ice.
I started off with a choice of salads and a yummy hot and sour soup, heavily inspired by its Chinese counterpart. The lotus root salad with chicken remained my favourite, closely followed by the Beef Salad with Spices, the healthy lettuce spring rolls, veg and non veg did fail to impress me greatly. I next went on to simple boiled prawns and squids, with a dash of orange squeezed. It was to die for, something so simple and yet so delicious. The broth in which these fishes were boiled was very flavourful and so was the technique in getting the perfectly cooked squid, to stay soft and hydrated while waiting on the ice!
The main course for the cuisine is mostly rice noodles or sticky rice, served with a traditional pho (broth) and topped with various toppings of chicken and/or beef with fresh scallions, chillies and spring onions. I took the one with rice noodles and was really awed in finding such healthy food bursting with flavours and deliciousness. A must try on the menu! Apart from that there were many stir-fries and noodles. I particularly disliked the cashew nuts with chicken stir-fry as the chicken boneless was really overcooked and hard! As personal opinion, I know that Chef Son and his team were wondrous with water, but lacked the finesse when it came to cooking with oil.
The desserts were an assortment of sweet fruits and vegetables, dipped in coconut based gelatinous sugar syrup. Not a very impressive spread there, but Sofitel made sure to not disappoint by keeping rows of Indian and English desserts to choose from.
Big burp quotient: I loved it! And so it’s a definite 3.5 stars for me. It captured the cuisine well in its authenticity and taste! It’s a healthy, water-based cuisine and you should go there knowing it very well. Try it,
Next on the blog would be my take on recreating the best dish of it all- The crunchy Lotus Roots with Chicken Salad! Keep checking up and follow me on social media to not miss any of my posts!!
Big Venue, Timings and Billing Information: Pondichery Café, Sofitel Mumbai BKC starting from 25th May till 3rd June 2014.
Timings: Lunch: 12pm - 3pm
Dinner: 7pm – midnight
Price: Rs 2000+Taxes
After all this info, I couldn't let you guys go without a takeaway, Could i?? And your take away from this post will be for you to learn a Chefy Technique. Click on the video to learn the perfect way to boil and present a calamari/squid tube!