When it came down to research, I definitely had that covered. I had searched through blogs, articles and of course the Lonely Planet guides for the best dining and shopping in Vietnam. Nam Phan is one of the poshiest restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City. In comparison to fine dining in Sydney, for just $30 USD, I dined as the royals would.
The restaurant, set in a restored French colonial villa offered the perfect dining ambience. Twinkling lights were scattered around bamboo plants and orchids and there was even a pond amongst the luscious garden. The staff dressed in formal classic Vietnamese attire spoke fluent English and offered the type of service you wouldn’t expect in this country. The table setting and furnishings reflected an European influence.. it was every bit gorgeous.
We started off with a hot and sour seafood soup which was intensely flavoursome. The food all maintained the traditions of Vietnamese cuisine but were served in new-age inspired ways. The triangle spring rolls were piping hot and delicious with perfect lettuce cups and symmetrical mint leaves.
The beef salad was dressed in tangy citric juices and fragrant with lemongrass. I loved the complementing giant prawn crackers!
The sweet and sour soup minus the tender bite-sized cubes of mudfish, was just like Mum’s cooking back home. It was generous with chunks of bacha (alocasia odora), okra, pineapple and tomatoes.
We also had the braised king prawns which were marinated in a glossy red sauce… it smelt of fish sauce, lots of garlic and peppercorns.
The stir-fry was a colourful mix of pork, squid, prawns, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli and green beans.
And… *drum roll*… the best was saved for last. Look at this stunning tropical fruit platter of grapefruit, dragonfruit, mango, watermelon and pineapple. It was uber tasty with chilli salt.
Here are my dining companions…
And I also had to sneak in a shot of the pretty bathroom. It was made for romance… haha!
That night, we walked home from the restaurant, past this magnificent glowing City Hall… It was nice to be fed and served like a Queen 🙂
Finest Vietnamese Cuisine
64 Le Thanh Ton Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Tel: +84 (08) 829 2757