Enjoy a mix of Japanese and Chinese cuisine and a tantalising cocktail list plus stunning views at this fashionable restaurant. By Lorcan Lovett. Photos by Vinh Dao.
If first impressions count, then Bamboo Chic dazzles, with its warm welcome from staff and stylish, minimalistic layout.
But the most striking feature of this ninth floor spot is the sprawling perspective it offers of the Saigon River as it curves around the city’s skyline.
Any table at Bamboo Chic is near enough a window wall to appreciate the view, and by the time customers sit they are served a complimentary mocktail of the day.
Each of the drinks differs depending on the day; they include passion fruit with ginger juice, cranberry juice with vanilla, or my favourite, guava, pineapple juice and grenadine.
Near the entrance is a large rack of wines, which are available for tasting in selections of three 50ml glasses (VND 160,000).
Past the wines there’s an outdoor seating area next to a glamorous swimming pool The restaurant is non-smoking although smokers can head to the outdoor area where drinks are served from 5pm. It also has two private function rooms and an open kitchen that displays sashimi, a sign of its Japanese-influenced menu.
Chef Frederic Meynard, who was previously ‘chef de cuisine’ at a three-star Michelin restaurant in Beijing, mixes this influence with Chinese, best encapsulated in the sushi roll with Peking duck (VND 180,000).
We sampled the restaurant’s signature dishes such as Wok-fried udon noodle with Canadian lobster (VND 480,000) and lobster gyoza with tomato concasse and soy vierge sauce (VND 290,000).
The quality of the produce was outstanding while all portions are cut into manageable pieces to encourage sharing.
The seared scallop with green apple puree, mixed salad and coconut emulsion (VND 310,000) was also a delight.
The juicy scallops soaked up coconut foam that tasted delicious combined with a dab of the unique puree.
Miso braised beef cheek should not be overlooked, and to help wash it down are a large choice of sake cocktails (VND 200,000) like Matcha, chic cocktails (VND 160,000) like Manhattan and Margaritas (VND 180,000).
The personable service is matched with a creative impulse among the bartenders although more neat spirits, especially whiskey, are bountiful too.
After 10.30pm, the main menu stops and a DJ plays chilled tracks. A small bites menu is available until closing and boasts fresh oyster ‘fine de claire’ with truffle essence, enoki tempura and light goat cheese emulsion (VND 240,000) among its intricate offerings.
There is also a daily happy hour from 5pm to 7pm on signature cocktails and Sapporo beer with complimentary canapé.
Bamboo Chic is on track to becoming one of the classiest additions to Saigon’s fine dining scene, emphasizing that top dishes can be enjoyed in an informal atmosphere.