Xin Chao! Trying to show off a bit of Vietnamese I picked up recently when I was invited to the Saigon Food Festival currently running only at Benjarong, Bangalore. For just two weeks Bangalore gets a real treat of having some of the best traditional Vietnamese cuisine there is, from 06th July to 24th July 2016, so you better hurry!
I was lucky to meet the two Chef’s flown down from Hanoi, Vietnam – Chefs Nguyen Thi Nho & Chef Ly Kim Ngan. These two are no strangers to Bangalore as they had traveled here earlier last year. After a quick round of introductions and chit chat about Vietnam’s culture and food, and some quick pose for a few clicks, I was all set, and already had my taste buds tingling.
Did you know? – “ Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon is the capital of Vietnam. The city is famous for its local cuisine and is famed for being fresh and healthy with minimum use of oil and spices.”
The menu has been well curated and showcases some of the best Vegetarian and Non Vegetarian dishes from Vietnam.
Benjarong prides its self to be one of the finest Thai restaurants in the country. Staying true to the authenticity is what has Benjarong among the most favoured restaurants when it comes to Thai cuisine. When you enter you get a feel of the oriental theme, with Thai art work, and motifs around.
What’s in my Glass?
Drink of the Day – To start, I was served their signature Vietnamese Iced Coffee. This is a real treat, just love the way the concoction is allowed to slowly trickle down onto the milk and then poured onto a tall chilled glass full of ice cubes. I have to admit this has to the best iced coffee ever. It was rich and had a nice creamy texture.
What’s on my Plate?
Crispy Vegetable Crackers (Tomato & Mint flavoured) served with Peanut and Basil sauce – Now I am a sucker for crackers, what can I say, it just vanished as soon as I was done clicking the picture, the dip was very tempting as well, but I loved the crackers as is.
Next up I was served the main highlight Pho, which is the national dish of Vietnam and it is a noodle soup in a broth, served with any type of meat mainly beef or chicken, linguine-shaped rice noodles called bánh phở, a few herbs.
Now for the Starters – I was served a colorful platter
- Vietnamese fresh Prawn Spring rolls –This was so fresh, each bite gives a crunchy flavour, the prawn was just cooked perfectly.dipped in fermented bean sauce and mixed pickles
- Charcoal grilled beef on lemongrass sticks with fresh rice vermicelli and chilli garlic fish sauce – The beef was just cooked to perfection and had a subtle hint of lemon grass.
- Grilled chicken skewers with lemongrass – This was like a satay, dipped in the chilli garlic sauce this was delicious.
Charcoal grilled beef on lemongrass sticks & Grilled Chicken @ Benjarong
- Fried rice with chicken and lotus seeds wrapped in lotus leaf – This is highly recommended, You can eat this on its own and is very filling, the lotus seeds added texture to the rice.
- Ca kho To caramelized fish in clay pot – I have to say highly recommended, the sweet and sour and the caramelized fish was just divine. I just love seafood, and the fish was soaked in all the juices, was just perfectly cooked, even thou it looked like the pot was burnt on the sides.
- Ninh Binh lamb curry – The lamb was so tender and absolutely delicious, again highly recommended by the Chef’s!
Crystal Steamed Banana cake served with Coconut ice-cream –
Every bite was tempting me to eat more. The sticky layering and the Banana flavour was just perfect. It is not a sweet dessert so all the more to gorge on this dessert, the ice cream on the side was a great combination. A must try!
Did you know? – Benjarong means five colours in Thai, and the hand painted porcelain have all the five colours in various patterns.
Benjarong is part of Oriental Cuisines Private Limited (OCPL) which was founded by an Entrepreneur/ Restaurateur Mr. M Mahadevan around 1994 under the name of Chaitanya Gourmet Splendour Private Limited. It was later renamed Oriental Cuisines Private Limited in March 1997.
The Saigon Food festival menu has been carefully curated, with a lot of choices to order from. The portion serves two easily. And is available for both lunch and dinner, for reservation, call 080 3221 7201
Cảm ơn (Thank you) for reading and please feel free to leave you comments below on your experience.
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**Disclaimer: Even thou the invite was complimentary, all views expressed are my own.