Homemade French food for every mood. By Michael Tatarski. Photos by Lee Starns.

The layout of Café de Paris is designed to accommodate every mood. The ground floor’s bistro-style seating is open to the street, while the first floor houses a cosy bar, a section of plush lounge seating, and a more formal white-tablecloth area. An open-air terrace tops the building off, giving diners the option to choose whatever ambience they may want.

Manager Tristan Haentjens explained that Café de Paris strives to set itself apart by making nearly everything in-house. The pastries and desserts, displayed in a glass case, are all homemade. Many of the dishes are family recipes brought over from the Brittany region of France.

Emphasis is placed on quality and taste, and the French management spent three months training the head chef and baker. Another objective is to make Café de Paris a family restaurant, where all of the customers are known and treated well.

The menu is extensive, covering breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast options are around VND 100,000, while starters, salads and sandwiches range from VND 60,000 to VND 150,000. International mains such as beefsteak and chicken cordon bleu go for VND 130,000 to VND 200,000. Also available are special French dishes: crepes with cider and several varieties of quiches and tartes (VND 100,000), including quiche Lorraine and tomato emmental. Then there are the desserts: croissants, macaroons, éclairs, cakes and crème brulee (VND 35,000 to 100,000). Finally, fresh ice cream and wines by the bottle or glass from around the world are available.

We began by sampling several pastries, each of which was light and fresh. The fact that they are homemade certainly makes a difference.

The Parisien Plus (VND 98,000) packed ham, French butter and emmental cheese into a baguette, along with a side salad. The baguette made the sandwich, as it was thick and hearty, a welcome break from the usual airy, crispy baguettes one gets with a banh mi.

We finished with the Tomates Cherne (VND 110,000), a tart with tomatoes, goat and Swiss cheese and a side salad. The tomatoes were fresh and flavourful, and both cheeses were excellent. This dish is one of Café de Paris’ specialities, and they know how to pull it off well.

At first, the pastries may seem like the only attraction, but at second glance you realise hours could easily be spent at this restaurant watching life pass by on the narrow, leafy and haphazard Ho Tung Mau.

84 Ho Tung Mau, D1
7am – 11pm, Monday to Saturday
08 38 21 60 39
Cafeparissaigon.com