Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Square One @ Park Hyatt (Saigon)

Staying at the Park Hyatt in Saigon was a great treat. Here is another example why...we got a voucher for a free lunch at Square One.

If anyone who has been to Singapore and stayed at the Grande Hyatt or just have eaten there will know about their great concept restaurant called Mezzanine. Square One's concept is pretty much the same.

Square One has about six open kitchens. Each kitchen specialises in a particular food. For example; the kitchen above was for the steaming and rolling fresh Vietnamese spring rolls.

This kitchen specialised fresh seafood. The seafood tower is not only beautiful but is very delicious.

This kitchen specialised in desserts.

This kitchen specialised in cooking pastas and other foreign foods.

This kitchen specialised in fresh fruits and fruit juices.

I forgot to take a photo of the kitchen that specialised in grilling meats. So, you will have to enjoy another photo of the kitchen that specialises in Asian foods.

Our free lunch started with fresh baked bread accompanied with tomato sauce dip. The bread was the type of bread you always dream of. Steaming hot, crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside.

The first dish was a green papaya salad with chili and peanuts. A refreshing dish to start the meal. The papaya was crunchy and had a wonderful taste and not too bitter. The mixture of flavours were very nice; sour from the papaya & lemon, salty from the nuoc mam, and sweet from the sugar. Different crunchy textures as well; the peanuts, papayap and carrots.

The next dish is one of the most spectacular dishes I have ever had in Saigon. Actually, its the basic goi-cuon (fresh Vietnamese spring roll) that you can get anywhere in Saigon. However; the Square One's version is so tasty. Instead of using rice paper for the outer cover, they instead use beatle leave, which adds a rich and toasty flavour. The stuffing inside consisted of shrimp, pork and rice noodles. Add a little of the sauce, and this dish is perfect.

The next dish was a vegetable, mushroom and tofu soup. A hearty and rich soup. Hearty because of all the fresh ingriedients in the soup and rich from the fish stock. A nice combination for flavours and textures.

The next dish was pork ribs with yellow curry. The Vietnamese curry is different from the Thai curries; Vietnamese curries normally have more similarities to the Indian version. The pork was tender and the curry was rich and tasty.

The next dish was a simple stir fried morning glory topped with fried garlic.

The last dish was dessert of fresh seasonal fruit. The presentation was marvelous. The fresh sliced fruit sitting in a beautiful bowl full of crushed ice.

This restaurant is one of the most interesting, unique and delicious restaurants I have been to. The concept is amazing. The food is out of this world. We have a Vietnamese friend who is very finicky about Vietnamese food. We went with her several times and she and her husband say that this is some of the finest Vietnamese food in town. To us, that really means something.

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