Set in a garden with a water hyacinth-filled pond 12 floors above Orchard Road, this 120-seater restaurant serves traditional, Saigon-inspired cuisine and is a great pick for the much-loved Vietnamese coffee
First published on . Updated on 23 Mar 2012.
Orchard Central’s rooftop garden shares its panoramic locale with this Vietnamese fine-dining outpost. Navigate your way to the 12th floor and you’ll be greeted by a wall of striking bright red bowls contrasting starkly with the interior’s muted palette: an old-meets-new approach that sees oriental furnishings, vases and murals juxtaposed with a modern, wood-slatted ceiling and curvy, minimalist chandeliers.
The food, however, is flat out traditional Saigon, like Vietnamese coffee, fresh spring rolls, canh chua hai san (seafood in a sour pineapple and tomato soup) and – who can resist? – piping hot phở.
The bún bò nướng (grilled beef tenderloin, $32), arrived on a large plate with the individual ingredients spread out neatly: fresh lettuce, basil, crispy beansprouts, pickled carrots, turnips and julienned cucumber formed a tight ring around a mound of vermicelli. Tender slices of beef, the dish’s main player, were seared evenly at the edges. Although the meat looked red raw in the centre, it wasn’t the slightest bit undercooked.