Reasonably priced, quality steak and a friendly atmosphere in the heart of District 1. By Michael Tatarski. Photos by Fred Wissink.

Located in the same area as some of Saigon’s most expensive restaurants, Le Steak de Saigon could get away with being a bit pricey. But manager Cindy Kawak, and the Le Bouchon team wanted to create a more affordable steakhouse.

Thanks to a special agreement with a supplier of Australian beef, Le Steak de Saigon offers one of the best set meals in town: VND 200,000 for steak, a salad, and your choice of French fries, mashed potatoes, or vegetables as a side. There are also a handful of sauces to choose from, including béchamel, green pepper, and mushroom. The compact drink list includes a variety of coffee and imported wine, served by the bottle or glass.

The restaurant follows a French tradition of having just one main item on the menu, so the set meal is the only full-size option. There is also a cheese platter (VND 80,000), and a selection of home-made French desserts, including crème brulee, chocolate mousse, and a tarte of the day (VND 69,000).

While the lack of options may be difficult for some people to accept at first, the small selection allows the chefs to ensure a high standard of quality. But they likely will add more menu items down the line.

The current cut of meat on offer is strip loin, though Le Steak is still gathering feedback on what customers prefer. We ordered ours medium-rare with both fries and mashed potatoes on the side. Although the steak was a little rarer than expected, it was still flavourful. The home-made fries were excellent as well, hitting that perfect balance between crispy and soft, and the mashed potatoes were nice and chunky.

For dessert we decided to try the tarte of the day. These tartes always consist of the same base, but are stuffed with a different fruit every day. Ours was packed with almonds and pears, and the result was fantastic. The fresh-baked crust crumbled on the fork, and the inside was sweet without being over the top.

Le Steak de Saigon, which is operated by the Le Bouchon group, may not have the biggest menu in town, but the dishes it offers are well prepared with high-quality ingredients in a relaxed, bistro-style atmosphere.

15 Dong Du, D1
Tel: 08 38 22 45 93
11am to 2.30pm and 5.30pm to 10pm weekdays, open later on weekends