Keith Hancock checks out a new little bistro with big flavours. Photos by Jonny Edbrooke.
Boulevard might look a little like a cafe in a shopping centre, but the two Vietnamese chefs in the kitchen send out fine dining-style dishes.
The comprehensive menu carries a wide array of excellent steaks, salads, pastas and other grilled items. The owners of Boulevard operate an upmarket butcher shop in Thao Dien, which ensures a steady supply of top-quality imported meats.
Alongside their culinary work, Boulevard gives back to their local community by donating a portion of every bill to their Dining4Giving charity, which helps the underprivileged. It’s an altruistic approach to the way they run their business, and it is to be applauded.
I loved the comfortable and unpretentious atmosphere, as well as the service, which is great without being too “in your face”.
The AsiaLIFE team was completely spoiled, with 15 dishes to sample, and every one was a winner.
While we waited for the food proper, we enjoyed two different types of beef jerky: Japanese Waygu (VND119,000); and a slightly spicier Scotch Angus (VND65,000) Both are popular take-away items.
The standout dishes among the starters for me were the spicy beef sausage with onion and roasted peppers and basil dressing (VND125,000). The combination of flavours worked perfectly, and I especially loved the subtlety of the onions and peppers, which complimented the rich taste of the sausage. The tomato salad with burrata cheese (VND230,000) uses fresh tomatoes from Dalat, with a lovely, tangy balsamic dressing. The texture of the foie gras (VND265,000) was perfect and the sweet mango dressing and toast with which it comes was ideal.
I seriously doubt you could get a better steak deal in this town than Boulevard’s US Scotch rib eye steak (VND950,000). This was high quality meat cooked exactly as requested and it was simply delicious, tender, with great marbling, and bursting with flavour.
If lamb is more your thing, the marinated lamb chops (VND410,000) will delight. This was top-quality meat, cooked just right. The dish comes wtih a choice of pepper, chimichurri and truffle mushroom sauces.
The main courses are complimented with delicious sides including a cheesy broccoli and cauliflower gratin (VND55,000) and a truly wonderful grilled asparagus with lemon and olive oil (VND65,000).
If you have any room left, Boulevard’s dessert menu has enough choices to keep anyone happy, with prices ranging between VND50,000 and 98,000. The panna cotta with passion fruit, lychees and mint was the lightest option we tried. If richer flavours are your thing don’t miss the chocolate Dak Lak cashew brownie, Baileys ice cream with strawberry sauce.
In my opinion, Boulevard is a not-to-be-missed venue that deserves to be an enormous success.