This sky-high restaurant in the Bitexco Financial Tower takes fine dining to a new level. By Ruben Luong. Photos by Fred Wissink.
Cirrus restaurant seems illusory on the 51st floor of the Bitexco Financial Tower. Five-metre, floor-to-ceiling windows reveal breathtaking, unobstructed panoramas of the cityscape within a sophisticated, circular floor plan. Sleek dining tables surround the perimeter or perch on wooden mezzanines, ensuring every guest a direct view of the wonderland below. An open-theatre kitchen, where guests can witness executive chef Gabriel Boyer and his team in action, provides an additional spectacle.
Cirrus’ menu parallels in intrigue, offering a solid selection of modern and eclectic, yet non-intimidating dishes. Starter entrees range from VND 225,000-VND 450,000, while mains range from VND 345,000-VND 845,000.
We began with the tuna carpaccio (VND 280,000), a lovely starter. Fresh and refined, the thinly-smeared slab of sashimi-grade tuna was mild and a perfect hue of light pink. A succulent layer of black olive emulsion was a welcomed and savoured acquaintance. Parmesan crisps, lodged in vines of watercress greens and cherry tomatoes, formed a crispy, colourful canopy, adding complexities to the dish.
Perhaps the highlight of our meal was the pan-roasted pigeon breast (VND 250,000). Resting on a cluster of wilted arugula, round chunks of game glazed in a Phu Quoc pepper puree were enticing. A dollop of warm cauliflower puree proved a comforting side dip. The overall dish was demure, yet decidedly unique and palatable.
Likewise, the main course, braised beef cheeks (VND 495,000), didn’t disappoint. Beef can be typical and tired, but this lean tower of braised beef cheeks was different. Each portion was gently shredded into morsels of smoky beef, reminding us of classic barbeque. Saturated in a red-wine glaze, each parcel was decadent, and so were the roasted shallots and garlic swimming in a pool of carrot puree that accompanied them.
With a slice of tres leches sponge cake (VND 120,000), dessert was served. Combining three types of milk and soaked in Kahlua espresso overnight, the cake oozed a satisfying opulence. A procession of ripe strawberries was inviting beside the cake, as well as carefully spread mascarpone creme frosting.
Opened for a mere two months, Cirrus is simply euphoric. Don’t be surprised by a strong desire to linger around longer — Cirrus is also below Bitexco’s similarly renowned helipad bar, Alto — an ideal spot for follow-up drinks.