Peter Cornish investigates all three modern Vietnamese menus at Anan Saigon. Photos by Romain Garrigue.
Newly opened Anan Saigon serves up some incredible modern Vietnamese food thanks to chef and owner Peter Coung Franklin. Located on Ton That Dam Street, in the heart of bustling District 1 and surrounded by one of the city’s oldest markets, the restaurant and rooftop bar’s name means ‘eat-eat’, and that’s certainly what the menus encourage you to do.
Opened just a few short months ago, the modern design and contemporary feel combine elegantly with the theme of a modern, developing city that is still deeply rooted in the country’s historic traditions. Progressively presented, yet in celebration of the past, the building’s rooftop provides a calm oasis from the crowded chaos of the market below.
The multi-floored restaurant offers an impressive three menus; two served in the lower floors, and a third for the rooftop.
The a la carte menu includes tempting dishes such as the Walking Chicken, freshly grilled and served with a lemongrass green chili sauce and sticky rice (350.000 VND), Caramel Tiger Prawns (350,000 VND), and Orange Duck breast served with baby mustard greens, fresh herbs, salad and a spicy orange sauce (350,000 VND).
The four Tasting Menus (490,000 VND for two sharing), named Mot, Hai, Ba and Yo, all offer a selection of three starters, three mains and two desserts, plus an accompanying pairing of wine.
Depending on which menu you choose, starter choices include Pho Rolls of buffalo flank, bean sprouts and rice pho noodles, or perhaps the Foie Gras Imperial Rolls of pork, black truffle and sweet chili lime sauce.
The taster’s main dishes include Sai Gon Shaking Beef, a succulent dish of Australian tenderloin, tomato, watercress and shallots, or Mekong Delta Elephant Fish served with mango and papaya.
If you make it through to dessert, expect to choose from dishes such as Banana Nutella Spring Rolls with Da Lat strawberries and fresh, mint rum caramel sauce, or Broken Lime vanilla mousse with lemon grass, lime curd, ginger snap and kaffir leaf.
The Rooftop menu combines elements of the a la carte menu, with small bites and sweet treats. Highlights include the Banh Xeo Taco, a play on the Hue classic, with prawns, pork, bean sprouts and herbs, and the Pumpkin Flower Da Lat Pizza with charred and fresh pumpkin flowers, spiced pumpkin seeds and silken tofu with fresh herbs.
Not to be missed are the Anan Addictive Chips, made from crispy tofu skin and best taken with a poison of your choice. One bowl is not enough!
The already impressive menus hold a final item that is arguably unique as it is special, and we’ve certainly never come across similar before.
If you’re feeling hungry, ask for the Anan Banh Mi Dac Biet, a Fois Gras banh mi served with sweet potato fries, black truffle mayonnaise, Prosecco and Caviar De Duc. Coming in at $100 (VND2.2 million), it’s one of a kind.